Only in God can we find true protection and secure rest. This truth is presented throughout the scriptures. “In God alone is my soul at rest, my help comes from him… in God is my safety and glory.” (Ps. 62) “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28) “For thou hast been my help, and in the shadow of thy wings I sing for joy.” (Ps. 63:7) The list goes on and on. We have no reason to fear.
Yet our problem is that we often look for our “protection and secure rest” in things that tend to not deliver… that are destined to ultimately fail…. things like our finances, the stock market, our job, our education, our nation, our political leaders, even in fallible church leaders. When they start to shake, we tend to shake. When we start to get nervous, it’s a sign that we’re relying on the wrong thing. It’s time to do some honest assessment. Even the great saints had to work thru this dilemma, i.e. relying on things other than God.
I read that St. Francis deSales as a young man found himself in an agony of fear that he was doomed to hell; he went for several weeks barely eating or sleeping.
One day he went into a church and threw himself upon the love of God: “Whatever happens, Lord, you who hold all things in your hand and whose ways are justice and truth: whatever you have ordained for me …you who are ever a just God and a merciful Father , I will love you Lord. I will love you here, O my God ,and I will always hope in your mercy and will always repeat your praise. O Lord Jesus, you will always be my hope and my salvation in the land of the living.” (Magnificat, 11-17-22)
St. Francis came to realize that only in God is my soul at rest…only in him can I rest secure… only in God can we find true protection and secure rest. This great saint came to understand that all our other securities will ultimately fail. When we one day stand before God, it’s his redemption and kindness and love for us that we will rely upon. We bring nothing to that moment other than our relationship with Christ and what this relationship of love has produced.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in thee my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of thy wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. (Ps. 57:1)
Only in the shadow of his wings are we safe and secure. And by your grace “I will always hope in your mercy and will always repeat your praise.” And all will be well with my soul.