One of the best things about living in the Outer Banks is the constant sound of birds and waterfowl. When I was growing up, we camped every summer all along the Eastern seaboard. I loved to sit on the beach and listen to the sounds of seagulls calling to one another. That sound was always associated in my mind with vacation, my parent’s love, family fun, and the freedom that camping with friends brought.
I recently came home from a long trip away and as I stepped out of my car, the first sound I heard was a seagull laughing. I was home.
In this lovely Psalm, we are reminded of the strength of a bird’s pinions. The word pinions refers to the wings including the flight feathers. According to scientists at HawkQuest, an environmental education nonprofit in Colorado, a bald eagle’s gripping strength is ten times stronger than the average grip of an adult human hand. A bald eagle can exert upwards of 400 pounds per square inch (psi). God’s creation is amazing, isn’t it? Such majesty and strength in something that is literally as light as a feather.
As you read this psalm today, I want you to think of a time when you felt attacked, defeated, or threatened by something that looked too big to combat. It might be a person, situation, an illness, a bad decision, or a false accusation. It might be depression or divorce. Whatever has you in a hunter’s trap, know this: God is bigger, stronger, and more powerful than any of that.
Psalm 91 (Common English Bible)
Living in the Most High’s shelter,
camping in the Almighty’s shade,
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my refuge, my stronghold!
You are my God—the one I trust!”
3 God will save you from the hunter’s trap
and from deadly sickness.
4 God will protect you with his pinions;
you’ll find refuge under his wings.
His faithfulness is a protective shield.
5 Don’t be afraid of terrors at night,
arrows that fly in daylight,
6 or sickness that prowls in the dark,
destruction that ravages at noontime.
God’s faithfulness to you is your protective shield. You can take comfort in knowing that God is your refuge. He is your stronghold. He is your protector.
14 God says, “Because you are devoted to me,
I’ll rescue you.
I’ll protect you because you know my name.
15 Whenever you cry out to me, I’ll answer.
I’ll be with you in troubling times.
I’ll save you and glorify you.
16 I’ll fill you full with old age.
I’ll show you my salvation.”
So, cry out! Seek the Lord in your distress and you will be found. God will save you and glorify you! Thanks be to God.