Shelter in Place
It is amazing how quickly life can change. One day the news reports are focusing on heavy rains and flooding. The next day a virus with flu-like symptoms is spreading throughout the world.
This threat of Corona-virus has caused great anxiety. Many of us are fearful. We remain glued to news feeds, wanting to hear the latest findings. It is a challenge to not allow fear to overtake us. Signs that we are not doing well in this regard are seen in the emptying of grocery shelves and hoarding of necessities. I could only shake my head when viewing the recap of a Walmart brawl over toilet paper. Then I thought, I better check my supply. Yes, I think I can get by.
Local officials have told us to shelter in place. What does it mean to shelter in place? In emergency type situations we are to stay put in a safe place indoors. Then we are to remain in that location until we are given the clearance to leave.
Sheltering in place is driving many of us crazy. It is like trying to diet. You always want the very thing you know you shouldn’t have. Give us the freedom to wander. Set us free from boredom. Set us free from the screaming children.
As I seek to calm my anxieties and fears I turn to the Psalms. Psalm 91 speaks of a great place for shelter.
You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot. Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name. When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.
God is our refuge. In times like this, let us run to the Most High for shelter. God can keep us safe. God can calm our anxieties and fears.