January 11, 2019
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91:4 (NIV)
I flung my arm out from beneath the covers, attempting to snooze the alarm. Successful, I rolled back onto my side, snuggling deeper into the warmth of the down comforter. Snoozing had become the new norm. And not just one snooze ... maybe three or four.
Every night, I'd set my alarm with great expectations of getting back to my "normal" start to the day. Wake up, run with my dog, shower, devotions, breakfast, coffee, finish getting ready and out the door. Overly ambitious? Maybe. But for years, that's how I've functioned best.
I told myself: This has to stop. I will get up on time tomorrow. Then, morning's reality arrived. Snooze. Repeat.
Sure, I made it to work, going through the motions, even finding myself with favor in various areas of life. But despite exterior successes, I felt stuck. I started making choices I am not proud of and saw myself displaying characteristics inconsistent with the faith I claimed to profess.
I could see it happening but could not stop. I didn't like who I was when I got out of bed. So I snoozed. The covers protected me from myself and the world - but it was a facade.
No matter how long I snoozed, I had to face life. And I faced it poorly, as I was sacrificing the very things that helped me feel restored and best able to manage life's complexities. I was resting but not well. I was hiding from hurts of unfulfilled hopes and dreams, broken relationships, deaths of loved ones, sadness and fear.
Instead of embracing God, I was pushing Him away and increasingly unable to experience joy. That is not who I am, not who He designed me to be. I knew it but could not break free. I was running to the perceived comfort of a warm comforter instead of to the One who could cover me fully and completely in waking just as much as in sleeping, providing the true rest I desperately craved.
Psalm 91:4 illustrates a coverage by the true protector, a rampart who provides healing, joy and restoration: "He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Typical of God, the image is not something that is a natural point of comfort in this world. It's even better.
A showering of luxurious feathers falling gracefully from the wings of a magnificent creature, someone much bigger than ourselves - someone who's a faithful shield from the struggles of this world.
The covering remains despite our humanity, enveloping us with mercy and grace, cheering us on in even our darkest moments. It's beyond anything this world can offer, propelling us forward out of stuck places into what we perceive to be the impossible.
Feathers floated around me, gently guiding me to the goodness inherent in them. I experienced the warmth and fullness of the covering as I allowed myself to absorb all He had readily available. True comfort. True protection. I stopped seeking coverage through snoozing, discovering that although my comforter is great, His feathers are much better.
Dear God, thank You for being the Father who craves to lavish love and goodness toward me. Help me to recognize it, accept it and embrace it. It leads to life far beyond what I could hope or imagine. May I look to You first - nothing else - for comfort and protection. I choose to find my rest in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 119:114, "You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word." (NIV)
Psalm 90:14, "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." (NIV)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is there something you are hiding beneath that's keeping you from experiencing the promises He has for you? Identify one way you will choose Him today, and share it in the comments.
If you're looking for rest right where you are in the midst of your life's circumstances, consider reading the key verse again in addition to the passages surrounding it. Open up your Bible, app or online browser, and read all of Psalm 91. Reflect on it. Read it again. Proclaim through prayer this passage over your life.
© 2019 by Jessica Martin. All rights reserved.