“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2. I haven’t always walked with the Lord and was only mildly exposed to church when I was growing up. After marrying I attended church a little more regularly and in 1986 a pastor came into my life that helped me grow in my faith and helped start me on the path I am on today. In 1994 I answered the call to full time pastoral ministry, sold my own business and haven’t looked back. I began doing all the college and seminary work that had to be done for ordination in the United Methodist Church. I underwent many interviews never having a glitch along the way until the spring of 2000. Following my interview for ordination I was denied ordination that year, without any real explanation.
That night I was reading some scriptures and trying to figure out why God said “no” at this time. I read Psalm 91, which I had read many times before, but that night it spoke to me differently. Verse 3 says “He will save you from the fowler’s snare and the deadly pestilence.” I placed my circumstances in those places “He will save me from the board’s decision and my pain”. As I did that and reread Psalm 91 and prayed I found peace.
Disappointments like the one I faced are just one of the many times this passage can bring comfort. As a pastor I see death quite often and you never get use to it. At every funeral I use those words from Psalm 91 to bring comfort as I minister to the family. In May of 2011 a friend died and the next day my mother died. In November my brother died. I had to continually go back to those words from the Psalmist to find comfort and peace.
I relate these things not to focus on myself but to show where comfort comes from in difficult times. I know that during each person’s life there are difficulties and pain and we need someplace to turn. Human nature says “I will do it myself”, but God gave us His Word and His Son to help us through each situation we face. My prayer is that when you find yourself in those troubled times you will at least look to these verses for comfort and strength and it might even start you on a deeper search of the Word of truth.
1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
Page 2 of 2 - and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:1-4
Pastor Terry Mayhew
First United Methodist Church