Calming My Mind
Calming my mind is difficult this early morning. I sit in my Quiet Place, where I sit as I read and pray. I hope to find a stillness—not only in the physical space—but in the inner room of my heart where my spirit communes with THE Spirit. Uncalled for thoughts zip past my mind’s eye. I try to let them pass, unnoticed—but they don’t go without a struggle.
The morning news blares messages that send panic to my heart about the Covid-19 virus spreading around the globe—across our nation and even in our town. The President’s messages to our nation do not settle the low mummer of empathy I feel for the suffering and losses of life. The possible spread of this dread plague is like a dark cloud over our world. The numbers of victims are mounting–and who knows, I or one of my loved ones might be next.
My phone and IPad beckon me: ‘Read me! Watch me!’ But for now, I’ve set them aside—turned off—tuned out. It is time to be still and let God and His word whisper to my heart and mind.
The poetry of the Bible calls my name.
I open my Bible to the Psalms. The poetry of the Bible has always been a stable guide for me since my early teens. When my heart and mind are anxious about something, I turn to them for consolation, wisdom and perspective. Today it’s Psalm 91: 1-2.
“He who 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 who I trust.’” (NIV)
It amazes me that in these two short verses, there are four Hebrew names used for God, which give strength and substance to the metaphors mentioned in the verses.
- He is “The Most High” God—El Elyon.
- He is “The Almighty” God—El Shaddai (the All-Sufficient One)
- He is “The LORD”—Yahweh or Jehovah (who is Personal-my LORD)
- He is “My God”—Elohim- (the Triune Creator-God)
The 19th century preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, wrote this about Ps.91:1-2:
“The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks toward the inner sanctuary and the mercy-seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they rarely reside in the mysterious presence.”
In this global crisis, many are running to this blessed sanctuary. I am among them. But, I realize, more important is the concept of living in close fellowship with God moment by moment, day by day. ‘Abiding’—being rooted in and living under the ‘shadow’ of the Most High (El Elyon), for then under HIS shadow, the peace of God surrounds me, and His protection covers (overshadows) me. Nothing will penetrate that shield unless He gives His Divine permission. I am secure, no matter what comes my way.
By faith, I stand!
By faith, I stand among the substantial crowd of believers who have trusted God’s word, now and through the ages, having faced terrifying circumstances yet, who survived and received His blessings because of it. What ever the outcome of this dread disease, ‘this invisible war’, I know I am safe in His ultimate care.
How about you?
Do you live (dwell) in close fellowship with El Elyon—the Most High God? or are you paralyzed by fear and allow the daily news to enslave your mind and heart?
Do you rest under the all-encompassing shadow of the Almighty—El Shaddai?
Is He your ‘secret place’ –that place of peace and quiet, or do you run to Him only in times of trouble?
I believe this psalm was written and preserved through the centuries to urge one’s like you and me, to trust in and cling to God in all circumstances–to give us peace in the midst of the storms of life. In these days of unprecedented global and national uncertainty, there is extra reason to cling to HIM. Here’s an application I wrote after pondering this passage.
“Elohim is my powerful place of safety, my unshakable fortress and refuge in times of need. I will find rest in the protective shadow of HIS continual presence because I have made Him [El Shaddai] my constant companion. I will say of HIM, my Creator, in Him I will place my trust.” [see also Proverb 18:10]
Here are a few other verses which calls God “our refuge and strength” and where the words shadow, rest and dwell are used to describe our security and relationship with God.
Psalm 46:1-2a NIV
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear. . .”
Psalm 146:7 NIV
“The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our Fortress.”
Psalm 90:1 NIV
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.”
Psalm 36:7 NIV
“How priceless is your unfailing Love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
If your anxiety quotient causes your heart to race, then run! Run to God—our Strong Tower—for such a time as this! There, you will find comfort and emotional rest under the shadow of His protective wings.
Thank you for dropping by my blog today. I hope your heart is calmer, because of it.
Linda, “for the love of writing.”
Linda is a career missionary and Bible teacher for more than 35 years, having lived on foreign soil in both Austria and Thailand. Through her ministries she has traveled and taught the Bible in more than 20 countries, most recently in Nepal and Ukraine. She is also an author and children’s storybook illustrator and loves painting, writing poetry, and blogging.
NOTE: I have written other blog posts on the Names of God. If you found this piece a blessing, check out these also. Please let me know if you found encouragement or peace through what I’ve written by leaving a comment or liking the post. Please share it with your friends.
Linda’s Blog post on El Shaddai: https://writing4funblog.com/2016/10/15/el-shaddai-he-is-all-sufficient/
Linda’s blog post on El Elyon: https://writing4funblog.com/2016/09/24/i-have-a-secret/