19 August 2020
Summer Psalm – The Promised Protector
On the 23rd March 2020 I was on Zoom to a friend when I received a text from my wife from the living room saying four words: ‘we are in lockdown.’ Those four words represented a complete shift in our little world for the months to come which we are still feeling the effect of today. I know I am not the only one that has experienced that shift.
In those early moments I felt much like the writer of Psalm 121. In verse 1, he says,
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains - where does my help come from?”
The Psalmist does not miss a beat and answers himself,
“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (verse 2)
What was true when I received the text from my wife is true now. My help comes from the Lord.
This solid truth has been something myself and my wife have clung onto throughout this lockdown and beyond. Each day as we encounter new challenges, we see this statement becoming more meaningful. And I know that it is a statement that is true for our ministry partners too.
What I love about Psalm 121 is that despite being written long ago, it is still so relevant today. Every year, Israelites would make the long and treacherous trip from their homes to Jerusalem for one of the three major feasts. Travelling all that way on foot would be tiring and scary. And yet, throughout this Psalm, the author speaks of God keeping His promises that he is with us. Isn’t that encouraging?
Christian writer Marshall Segal in his article entitled ‘The Lord can and will keep you’ says this:
Psalm 121 was a song for rough and uncertain roads like these. The refrain over and over again in these eight verses was that the Lord can and will keep them. The psalm was written because the long and lonely road to Jerusalem was dangerous — and because the long and often lonely road to heaven is also dangerous.
Here at WorldShare, the journey that we and our ministry partners are on is enormous due to Covid-19. However, the promise is that the Lord can keep us because there is nothing He cannot do. No crisis or circumstance can overwhelm Him. He is never surprised or shaken. Therefore, we find strength for this journey from our unmoveable and unshakable God. Our Promised Protector.
It is this God that has sustained and been ever-present in our ministry partners' lives and I pray, in yours. He is “your shade on your right hand” (verse 5), meaning no one is nearer to you than the One who keeps you. Nothing can come between you and your God. “The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night” (verse 6).
I pray that both you and WorldShare’s ministry partners will know God’s ever-present hand of help as He promises to protect you along this journey.
By Matt Forsyth, one of our Trustees here at WorldShare.