Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
They say there are no atheists in foxholes. I wouldn’t know about that, but I do know that the more time I have spent taking shelter from spiritual and emotional attack, the more I have come to rely on the LORD.
The nights I spent listening to my parents scream at each other over the events of the day through the thin walls of my boyhood home.
The days I saw my grandfather slapping kids around on the school bus for perceived disobedience, wondering if I might be next.
The Sundays in church when it seemed as if the hellfire and brimstone would fall on us as we sat still on those hardwood pews.
The weeks, months, and years I have spent fearful I would lose everything as I lost my mind, my memory, and my reason to live.
Over the years, I’ve learned to take shelter in the Most High. My biggest trouble has been coming out of hiding, trusting that God will lead me the rest of my days. If you, like me, have trouble coming out of hiding, take heart in these verses (above) and know you have a God you can trust who will never leave you and cannot forsake you.
I have learned in my years seeking shelter that God is always there to protect us even when it seems horrible things are going to happen. God cares for us even when all else turns against us. When family members abandon us. When enemies abuse us. When friends reject us.
When my parents divorced, I lost all faith that any human relationship could last a lifetime. Sixteen years later, as I tried to profess my own wedding vows, I became choked up. The pastor, who couldn’t see my face tried to feed me the words, thinking I had forgotten them— “I, Tony, take you, Alice… I, Tony, take you, Alice.”
But I was having no problem with my memory. In fact, I was remembering well the many days I spent as a young boy wondering if it were ever possible that I might share my life with someone “as long as we both shall live.” In this moment, before God and many witnesses, I burst into tears, realizing that I was graced with the hope that what was humanly impossible was actually happening in my life by God’s grace.
Over two decades later, I am still grateful for the One who is my shelter in the storms, my fortress when I am under enemy attack.