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A Year of Psalm 91

Last year at this time, I felt like doing something I had never considered before. I suddenly had a desire to memorize a chapter of scripture. Not just a verse or two.

An entire chapter.

Bear in mind, I am someone who began losing the necessary brain cells for such an endeavor with each child I brought into this world. I have enough trouble remembering their names each day, for heaven's sake. My mind is like an overloaded desktop littered with superfluous files, so it's no small wonder I'm running out of storage space.

But, I reasoned, wasn't anything possible with God?

I resolved to do the impossible. If I could do this, well...I could do just about anything.

Following resolution, the next step was to select the specific chapter in the Bible I'd be dedicating my life to, for that is the way I saw it. Memorizing an entire chapter might, indeed, take the rest of my life.

I didn't delay, and praying over my Bible, I opened it randomly to the Psalms. This stands to reason. Not only are the Psalms dead center in the Good Book, the Psalms make so much sense. You can't go wrong with memorizing a psalm!

I had landed on the 91st. I hadn't chosen it, it had been chosen for me. So, I read it over and over again. I recited it out loud. And then I found a video on YouTube. An Asian woman singing the Psalm to music. Her high octive voice was sweet, but what really drew me in was the picture of a rainbow there.

Something else you can never go wrong with: rainbows. I have a rainbow obsession, so this really hit the nail on the head!

Anyway, I memorized it. Can you believe it? What an accomplishment!

Then, 2020 rolled around.

On the first day of 2020, when everyone else around me was declaring what a great year it would be, how much success was promised in 2020, and how we would all finally arrive at our destinations, I got stuck at Starbucks with a flat tire. It was very cold and icy and inasmuch as every establishment but coffee houses and convenience stores were closed for New Year celebrations, there was nothing to do but wait. And find another way home. It would be three days before I could get back to the city for a new tire.

Everyone else was moving forward. I would have to wait.

Does that seem an overly dramatic perspective to you? Of course it does. I laughed at the absurity of it myself.

And yet, I detected an inaudible chuckle from God in confirmation. I see symbolism all around me. The situation was no exception. So much for the promise of 2020. At least where I was concerned. I may be a little dramatic but I am more pragmatic.

In the present, I don't really need to say anything about the year 2020. We all get it. But what got me through so much of it was Psalm 91.

As if to make his point clear, God did some things. Just after the pandemic started and we were instructed to stay home, I pulled out my Bible to talk with him.

It opened to Psalm 91.

Whenever I asked him for anything, this was true.

It opened to Psalm 91.

When my daughter called to tell me my grandson was sick.

It opened to Psalm 91.

When I watched the news, or worse, reported it.

It opened to Psalm 91.

When I read a friend's book.

It was all about her grandmother's clinging to Psalm 91. It was what saved her from the Nazis in World War 2. (In Alexa's Shoes.)

One day I was listening to music with my ear buds in and my husband started talking to me. I hit pause and took one out in order to hear him better. After our discussion, I put the ear bud back in and resumed listening. However, the music I'd been listening to had dissappeared. In its place was a sermon. I almost swipped it away, but then saw the title of it.

Psalm 91.

I listened to it and weeped. When Rochelle Alexander, author of In Alexa's Shoes, sent me an audio recording of her grandmother, Alexa, reciting Psalm 91 in her native Polish tongue, I bawled.

I went out to the dock at our pond recently, taking my Bible with me.

It opened to Psalm 91.

Why is our God so persistent? Because he loves us! He is constantly assuring us of his commitment to our well-being. He is so very faithful.

His faithfulness is our "shield and rampart", according to verse 4. The Merriam Webster definitions of rampart I like best are: a protective barrier; a broad embankment raised as a fortification and usually surmounted by a parapet; a wall-like ridge.

We need a protective, parapeted fortification as a barrier separating us from all that would come against us!

"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he ackowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation." (Verses 14-16)

I called on him a lot in 2020.

I am so grateful he reminded me through Psalm 91 that I could do this.

I am even more thankful he helped me commit it to memory for use in the years to come.


Kansas City, Kansas l jm@jmhuxley.com

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