“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day”Psalm 91:1-5
We are witnessing the death of another young black man in our country and another mother crying out because of the loss of her son. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of policing and/or youth deviance, someone lost their life, leaving a grieving family. This makes all mothers, but particularly mothers of sons of color, fearful that one day they will face the unthinkable. Fear and over protection can win the day very easily in a mother’s heart. The terror of a police raid in the night where your son is located or of a bullet that flies by day striking his vital organs, can haunt you every time your son leaves the house to play ball with his friends. Similarly, there is the fear that your daughter will be apprehended by a rapist who can overpower her and take her gift and her life.
The answer for the believer that knows we cannot control every moment of the lives of our children is trust. This is not just some general trust, but specifically the trust for protection. This Psalm addresses trusting God specifically for protection against the exergies of a fallen world. From whatever direction the threat comes from, the Psalmist looks to the Lord to be his shield and protection (NLT). Like the mother bird that hides its young under its wings, so the Lord will hide our young people under his wings. Imagine for a moment the angels that surrounded Elisha when the Syrian army was about to attack surrounding your child? The servant could not see them, but they were there and ready. Elisha had nothing to fear (II Kings 6).
Yes, our children will have to make the wisdom of God their dwelling place. They should not do things or go places where they are placing themselves in harm’s way unnecessarily or do things that draw the attention of those who could harm them. Our sons must be given The Talk and our girls The Warning. They must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves such that they are not facing the consequences of their own sin. But even here, God can and does intervene when they go where angels would fear to tread but will go on their behalf.
The protection of the Lord is real and we must rely on it if we are not to be overtaken by fear. God has promised –
“Because mother holds fast to Me in love, I will deliver them (son or daughter); I will protect them, because Mom knows My name. When she calls to me, I will answer her; I will be with them in trouble; I will rescue them and honor Mom. With long life I will satisfy them and show them my salvation.”paraphrase of verses 14-16
But what about the times when this does not happen? At this moment, that is for another discussion. The bottom line is what this Psalm says to us now in the midst of trying to control what only God can is the truth. And pray for the family of Daunte Wright.