Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Psalm 91 for Mothers by Peggy Joyce Ruth

Last week I read an interesting commentary on Psalm 91 by Peggy Joyce Ruth.  Titled Psalm 91 for Mothers, the slim book hits upon that nagging anxiety and worry that plagues many parents.  When people of faith begin to have those worries, they feel that they must be failing in their beliefs. Yet as the author points out, our world is a dangerous place and we can become fearful about our loved ones.  Peggy Joyce Ruth has written several books based on this Psalm which she calls a protective shield, but this one focuses everything on the family.  Personal stories of people who have made this psalm their personal affirmation of faith, their spiritual shield from harm pepper the book. If you begin to read the psalm itself, I am sure you will recognize it or at least parts of it.  The psalmist seeks safety in the presence of God and God answers that He will be with the believer in times of trouble.

In the Christian world, I guess there are two camps of thought about "bad stuff" and suffering.  Some believe that bad stuff happens to good people, much of it not our fault.  People in that camp feel that God can use those experiences to temper us, to make us stronger, and even to draw us closer in faith. Because we cannot see the outcome which may be years in advance while we are stuck in times of trial and trouble, the burdens can often seem overwhelming.

Others, at least how it came across to me in this book, feel that God protects those who strongly call out to him.  I got the feeling from some of the testimonies that we were supposed to think that the protection would manifest itself in no harm happening if the call to the Lord is loud and clear.  Personally, I've witnessed bad things happening to people whom I feel are strong in their faith (In my eyes, no one seems to escape the trials of life, at least at one time or another.) Yet I know there are those unexplained times of great protection or healing that can be nothing less than miracles. So I guess I feel that we do not totally understand God's intentions but must accept that both "views' happen.  That makes my 'take' quite different than the author's.

Even then, I recommend that you do become familiar with the psalm and its great promises.  Read it as a prayer with God's response.  Like the author recommends, insert your own name or someone who are concerned about.  As I read it, I said our family.  It is comforting and strengthening to say outloud, "My family will say to Him that He is our refuge and our fortress; and in Him we place our trust." After becoming more familiar with the Psalm, you can decide whether you'd like to read about Peggy Joyce Ruth's outreach and ministry through her writings.

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