Psalm of ProtectionPosted: November 5, 2009
Morning Devotions November 5th Psalm 91
I grew up in a home where faith and church were not big issues. But I was sent to boarding school for almost all my schooling and spent most of each year in an Anglican boarding establishment. We went to church often! Twice each day and three times on Sunday but mostly it was going through the motions – or was it?
Two things became very significant to me during this time – the Lord’s Prayer (which I am sure to write about sometime) and Psalm 91.
Each evening we had a chapel service. Mostly this was lead by the chaplain and was frequently quite relaxed. Often he would just read stories – Don Camillo, The Cross and the Switchblade etc; and he would include prayers by Michael Quoist. (Thinking back now, these also had a significance in my spiritual formation) On Friday nights we would have Compline. But at least once a week the Chapel Service was led by one of the hostel masters – Jimmy Southway was his name. He wasn’t a teacher. He was the accountant at a factory in town. He was single and he rode a bicycle everywhere. Other than that I didn’t know anything about him. Jimmy played the piano and we would sing lots of songs during the service. The piano was at the back of the Chapel so we just heard his voice and the piano. He would open with a prayer and then we would sing. At the end of the singing, he would read Psalm 91 while we were standing and then we would leave.
I still remember how we would come to the end of the last song, no-one would look around, we just lowered our heads as the piano stool scraped on the floor as Jimmy got up from the piano. And he would read ….
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, wil rest in the shadow of the Almighty
He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence
Under His wings you will find refuge
You will not fear the terroe of night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand will fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways
“Because He loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”
Who was Jimmy Southway? Did he ever realise the impact he would make on my life, and perhaps in the lives of others too? At the end of all things, I would love the opportunity to tell him about this. Who is the “Jimmy Southway” in your life? Someone from long ago, whose life was perhaps at a tangent to yours; who may have touched you only briefly but who left an indelible mark. Give thanks to God for that person now.