Psalm 91, fighting our battles

“Rise, you kings and queens of Narnia” 

The battle is intense.  Enemies surround the little girl and she can hear arrows fly by her head, and they narrowly miss her as she pushes her horse to maximum speed.  And just as the enemy gains ground on her, she sees Him.


His roar terrifies her.

But, it is a voice she recognizes and she can’t get to Him fast enough.

Her excitement to see him knocks him down.  He doesn’t mind.  He embraces the child and she rests her head in his deep broad chest.  Nothing can touch her now.


It doesn’t take long before she begins to pepper him with questions. Her first question sounds more like an indictment:

“Why didn’t you come and save us like last time, why wouldn’t You show yourself to us?” 

Her question is not unlike mine.  It’s one I ask often, and rarely get the answer I am looking to get. Psalm 91 answers the question for me, and I find when I seek the answer from Him, He does give it to me, just like He did with Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian.   

Also not unlike Lucy, I get discouraged when I look for Him and seemingly can’t find Him.  Every circumstance and every person around Lucy indicated that Aslan was in her imagination.  Everything pointed towards them being right.

Lucy had to wonder, DOES Aslan exist?  Despite the precious embrace with Him she has to answer his question:

“Why did you stop looking for me just because others do not believe?”

Every single time I see this scene I have to answer the same question.  Only His word gives my heart the answer is so desperately seeks.  Then I have to decide, do I believe what He tells me in His Word?

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Shaddai)” Psalm 91:1

This verse pushes me to find this shelter that the psalmist describes.  My body and my mind crave rest.  Oftentimes, I look for it in places He isn’t.  Sometimes I find it and not unlike Lucy, I will bury my head in His chest, fall apart, pull away from Him and then indict Him because He feels so far away.

Psalm 91 is clearly a Psalm written from the threshold of despair and Hope.  As the Psalmist continues, it is almost like he is trying to convince himself.  But he begins to speak words of truth and the progression of his Hope is very powerful.

“I will say to the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust” (v2)

This is the only transaction necessary by us.  He does the rest.  All Lucy had to do was get up off that ground and run to Aslan.  He did the rest.

He saved her.

Surely he will save you” (v2)

He covered her.

He will cover you with his feathers and under His wings you will find refuge.” (v3)

He protected her.

You will not fear the terror of the night

nor the arrows that fly by day

nor the pestilence of the night

nor the plague that destroys at midday..”

But, after their precious meeting in the middle of a battle, he sends Lucy back into the fight.  Then, somewhere along the way, she forgets these precious promises, again.

But, He pursues her.  And He makes Himself known right before the hardest battle of her life.

She loves Him and finally understands that she has to do as the Psalmist says in verses 9-12:

If you say “The Lord is my refuge and make the most High your dwelling place, no harm will overtake you, for I will command my angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift up their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone

Lucy loved him.  But, I can’t help but wonder if she viewed Aslan as unsafe.  She asked Him as much.  She must have examined the dichotomy between Him not being “safe” but still “good”.

That is where I often find myself. I find it difficult to reconcile a passage like Psalm 91 when it feels like I have lost both the battle and the war. Where is he?!  And will he save me like He has before?  Why isn’t He showing Himself to me?  So the words of Psalm 91 first cause unrest because it doesn’t seem true but then I get the “if/then” answer my scientific brain needs.

“Because he loves me” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him; for he acknowledges 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” (v14-15)

I do love Him.

That much is true.

But, he confuses me.

Sometimes the promises don’t seem true.

Lucy experienced a little of this same confusion.  Even though she had a real life physical moment with Aslan, when the battle got to an all time high, she didn’t even think to ask for help.

Yep, that sounds familiar.  I am exhausted from constantly striving to “figure it out” when it isn’t my job in the first place.

Finally, she felt the presence of Aslan as he stood beside Lucy right before an epic battle.  He walked across the bridge into battle with her. But, his presence wasn’t enough for her. One of the most beautiful cinematic scenes of the movie is Lucy and Aslan, walking the bridge into battle. Lucy is carrying her small knife, “just in case Aslan doesn’t have this thing”.

And I look in my own hand and I am tightly holding on to my own knife in battle, “just in case”—and He doesn’t chastise me, though I am sure it makes Him laugh.

I am pointed to the fulfilled promises of Psalm 91 played out on the silver screen, and in my own life.

He saved her, and He saved me.

He covered her, and He covers me.

He removed her fears, and He removes mine.

He slayed her enemies, and He slays mine.

He demonstrated justice, and He does the same for me.

All she had to do was dwell in his presence.

He did the rest.

As I think of the promises of Psalm 91, my mind always goes back to this movie and how it is a picture of the fulfilled promises of this Psalm that we love so much.  The book/movie also reminds me that I am human and that though it defies logic, I often feel the need to “help” Him with whatever version of my little knife.

There is such freedom in letting him fight the battle.  The kids of Narnia figured that out in the midst of battle.  They saw Aslan part waters, uproot trees and slay their enemies.  And in return, they were knighted kings and queens of Narnia.

But not everyone felt worthy of such an honor.  “Rise, you kings and queens of Narnia”, he said.  “ALL of you”

The promises of Psalm 91 are promises we all need.  We live in a world where hearts are broken, lives are devastated and God doesn’t seem to make sense.

At some point we have to put our knife away, stand in the shadow of His protection, and enjoy the comfort and kindness of His Love.

Getting to this place is one thing, staying there is an entirely different thing all together.

We need to call each other higher.

We need to rise, kings and queens of the Most High God.







Peace, I don’t understand it, and that’s ok.

I think every fiber of my being was in complete orchestra mode as they prepped me for yet ANOTER GI procedure. I used to be able to get through those things with no problem, but as I have learned to value myself more, I find myself like a normal person and don’t want to be taken off the planet…yet anyway.

It has been a journey, finding and wanting to stay alive on this planet, but not only stay alive, but to THRIVE. So this procedure yesterday was largely inconvenient and had every nerve in my body firing off at the same time.

Trying to act brave, I just shook my head when they asked questions, because I knew if I were to talk I would lose it. I was scared to death. Scared of the unknown, and of course, thinking about all of the things that led me to having to be under constant monitoring by doctors anyway.

One of the nurses must have noticed that I was scared. She came around to the opposite side of the bed and started rubbing my arm, and telling me “the hardest part of this was getting here, we do this all the time, we are going to take good care of you”. As soon as she started doing that (and of course putting in medicine into my iv) I was flushed with what must be as close as you can get to perfect peace. The nerves stopped in their tracks, I couldn’t worry about what was going to happen, all was well.

I have struggled on how to end this series on Peace, because I don’t feel like I have learned enough yet. And maybe that is the perfect reason to close it. What yesterday reminded me of is all of the times I have gotten through life, and look back later and am rendered completely in awe of how I got from point A to point B. It is remarkable and some would argue “it passes all understanding”.

I am reminded of the popular poem “Footprints” where the story of Jesus and a man are walking along the beach and suddenly the man only sees one set of footprints. When he asks Jesus where the other set are, Jesus simply answers: “it is then that I carried you”. I look back on traumatic events of my life and even how the last decade has been and I see lots of single footprint stretches of the beach. When I try to articulate how I got through those early days after my divorce, I can only say to you “I don’t know because I didn’t walk it”.

I will tell you that I was way too traumatized to pick up a book on peace or the right kind of juice at the store for that matter. I didn’t ask Him to carry me, I didn’t ask Him to give me providential amnesia, but He did. And I believe that is because of the prayers of others on my behalf. Praying for peace is the kindest thing you can do for another person. Because when you have “peace that passes all understanding” there is this beautiful opportunity to have an audience with your one true King. He wants that so badly for us, yet we forget, get tired, give up, or simply believed we have used up all of our chips with God, except there isn’t a limit with Him, He promises to follow us all the days or our lives.

So as I fumble around this life, worrying about this, and fretting about that, I want to remember that precious promise in Is 26:3…”I will keep you in perfect peace because your mind is stayed on me; because you trust in me”.

How hard can it be? Hasn’t He proven Himself more than able? Yes, He absolutely has. And, yet, I still forget to keep my focus on Him, nothing else works without Him, life doesn’t work; relationships don’t work; NOTHING works. And when the bad news comes, the favor feels withheld, I am so fast to take the reins back from Him because He has not proven Himself faithful, and surely I can do better than Him.

Except I can’t, and I don’t want to. We have learned that Peace in the Bible, is pretty much the same no matter where you read it Quiet, without conflict, calmly happy. I have come to learn that Peace is a benefit to constantly abiding in Him, keeping my eyes set on Him, because nothing else matters. At All.

But there are days, I feel like maybe He is on to somebody else, and I take it all back, and fail miserably, feel miserable and then question if He is a loving God.

But, it is there, all I have to do is take it. And all the nerves will calm because His soft touch telling me the hardest part was getting to Him, and that He does this all the time, and that He is going to take good care of me.

If I could just stay THERE..



Thank you for those of you who have read this series on Peace, after the holidays we will move on to Hope.