You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Psalm 32:7-8 (NIV)
This is one of a few passages that came to mind as I thought of this word-protect-tonight. Last week, we were in Mobile, AL at our General Assembly. It’s the last one we plan to attend.
For me, the great part of the meetings is catching up with old friends from the different places we have lived. It’s a bit like roulette in the sense that I rarely know who I’ll be catching up with. But I always serendipitously run into people from our past lives that I get a chance to visit with.
Seeing people from all our past connections
Sometimes, it is people I knew growing up at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale in the 1950’s; at other times, it might be people I knew from Ben Lippen or Columbia Bible College in the 1960’s; on rare occasions, it might be someone I knew from nursing in Philadelphia; but often, it is someone I knew from churches we served in Plantation, FL (outside of Ft. Lauderdale) where we served the first few years of our marriage (and where my grandparents lived after my parents went back overseas). I sometimes bump into people we knew in Jamaica (where we lived in the 1970’s), Miami, FL, Tyler, TX or Hanna City, IL as well. stop
Now, I even run into people who know our daughter and her husband better…the ones who served in Ukraine and have been in seminary. One thing is for sure, it is always interesting and educational. But I digress.
Reminiscing over GOD’s protection and guidance over 40+ years has been very encouraging!
Conversations this year particularly, helped me realize that GOD protected and guided us so well and wisely over our almost 48 years of marriage, most of which was spent in full time ministry to others. Looking back and reminiscing with others who are retired or retiring has been good for the soul. It has been good to see GOD’s hand that guided us through some very hard times, fun times, wonderful times, delightful times and also through a lot of drudgery as well.
When my hope was weak, I watched GOD’s work in the lives of others
One of my friends, who I didn’t know well at the time, lost her nearly 40 year old husband to a sudden heart attack quite a few years ago. I can’t remember if this was part of the Scripture that was read at the funeral or if we sang it. But I do know that the next day in our Sunday worship service, we did sing this song. It is mentally linked with that weekend in my mind and her loss at the time.
Her children are all grown now, with families of their own. But I remember that promise of GOD’s protection and guidance for her…as well as for His people, through the generations.
He is our hiding place. Whatever the needs we face. Whatever challenges come.
He will protect and surround us with songs of deliverance. Hallelujah!
It is true for pastor’s wives who are sometimes without work and are now retired. It was true for my friend who was alone and raising children without her high school sweetheart. It can be true for you as well.