P3: Psalms, Proverbs, and Prophets
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 feathers,
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,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
You are king above all kings. Darkness is as the day to You and both the day and the night are Yours. You are not intimidated by my nights, the darkness in my bones and the days I grow weary. Like the stars on moonless nights, Your light only shines the greater. Sweet are the days full of light and strength and laughter, but tender are the moments in my darkest hour – where You sit down on the floor where I’ve collapsed, take my head in Your lap and stroke my hair. Those moments will not be forgotten in the daylight. Those moments will be a well that I draw from, a security I did not foresee, would never have asked for and would not give up. You have proven Yourself worthy of my vulnerability, and when You said, “I work all things together for good”, I know now that You were never speaking meaningless hope into a desperate cause. You are shaping me, making me strong. Through pain. But also tenderly. Like a strange mix of refining burning fire and the tender milk from Your very body, comforting, close and tender.
You see me. You have given me a future and a hope, and slowly You are teaching me to put my faith, my whole world into that hope. It is the light that I look to, my water in a dry land, the air I so desperately need. How could I not have seen before? That You are near to the brokenhearted. That in moments of desperation Your light breaks forth like the sun and in my season of darkness, You have given me something precious – the knowledge of Your nearness could not be exchanged for a thousand cloudless days. I’m never going back. I can’t go back. Because now I know that wherever I am – You are there.
Stephanie Vanderzanden grew up in Sherwood, Oregon. She spent three years at Westmont College before transferring and graduating from George Fox University in 2009. Now, she is back in Sherwood with her husband Jason and two boys Josiah and Caleb. She particularly enjoys daisies, worship, and evenings on her back porch.