FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Safety Redefined | Simjan Jacob Cheera
The past months have been very stressful for all of us due to the global pandemic, an unprecedented situation in our lifetime. Nobody expected this to be so severe and that it would gravely affect all facets of our life. While the medical science is trying their level best to bring this to a halt, the virus is still refusing to concede. Like a world war, virus being on one side and the entire world on the other side, it continues to assert its dominance by mutating into multiple variants. During these times the concept of ‘safety’ has been a distant reality, as the world is thrown into chaos.
While the world is struggling to find safety, as a Christian we can look at this from a biblical perspective. The psalmist redefining this concept in Psalms 91. The psalm starts like this, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty”
If we examine this psalm very closely, we can see that the psalmist is introducing a foolproof shelter by establishing the unfailing truth of an already existing shelter of THE MOST HIGH GOD. He is further qualifying this shelter as the very shadow of the living God as opposed to that of a nonliving object which is temporary. He is also implying that there is no expiration for this shelter, where as long as God lives, this shadow continues to exist. The psalmist is giving us an assurance that this shelter can be availed by His children at any time and can be personalized as their own permanent dwelling place. By this, the concept of safety is being redefined as ‘staying close to His presence’ rather than the ‘absence of peril’. We don’t have to fear the terror of night or arrows or pestilence or any plague because His shadow makes us feel safe. Finally, he is offering us eternal life, which is the natural extension of His everlasting shadow, and one we are experiencing now by faith.
Apostle Peter literally experienced this ‘redefined safety’ while he was in prison. In Acts 12:6 we see that, “The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance”
Have you ever imagined how Peter slept peacefully when he was in Prison, which is a very uncomfortable and insecure place to be.
∙ That night could be potentially the last night of his life (night before Herod was to bring him to trial).
∙ He was totally immovable (bound with two chains).
∙ He was under close surveillance (between two soldiers).
∙ Also he was deeply grieving the loss of James, his beloved brother in Christ (James, the brother of John, was put to death with the sword by Herod).
This state of peace was possible because he has personalized the very shadow of the Almighty as his own permanent dwelling place.
In our life, similar tough situations may affect us physically. But our spirit must delight in the eternal peace and joy since we are under His shadow. Let’s also personalize this shadow as our permanent dwelling place in an unprecedented time like now, so that we can experience the same Peace and Safety.