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.
The opening words to this Psalm form the opening words to the classic hymn that I have heard many times in funerals and memorials – On Eagles’ Wings – “You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty…”
This hymn speaks incredible promise and hope to those grieving, reminding them of the shelter and peace that can be found in God. How interesting, then, that last night we had to cover up our beautiful flowers and plants to protect them against a hard April freeze. I went out and saw this beautiful bud that had closed itself up overnight and still stayed closed in the cold morning, protected by the blankets and towels that surrounded them. I love the idea of how God protects us and watches over us – the incredible beauty of us as God’s unique creations with the eagles’ wings covering us…just like a blanket protecting a beautiful flower from the cold.