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Chaplain's Corner: Assurance in the Middle of my Anxieties

Posted By CH (COL) Sherman R. Reed, USA, (ret) , Wednesday, August 19, 2020


A Spiritual Fitness Message from the ROA National Chaplain

Psalm 91:1-4



Well, this has proven to be one of the most unusual summers I have ever experienced.  I am discovering that I am not alone nor is this “unusualness” surrounding only my neighborhood.  It is not limited to just one small portion of my world but the entire globe has been invaded. 

It is likened to a thief or enemy of the night. What has impacted and invaded the globe is an unseen enemy visible only to those with the most accurate of microscopes and laboratory equipment.

This “enemy of occupation” has become a challenge to both the medical communities and leaders of the entire world.  Not only is this invasion unseen but the “rules of engagement” keep changing.

Nearly every thirty days I am told to change my approach to being safe and secure.  In fact, many times I feel my security is fleeting and only temporary until the next major rule is announced. 

When I place this invasion by “This Alien Virus From Outer Space” alongside numerous other threats and occurrences, I am realizing the need around me is so great, I cannot rest well until I rest in and with God.  

The words of Psalm 91 ring in my ears and to my soul as the sound of a trumpet of victory.  They are so relevant I can return to them again and again.  They are as promises from the Living God sounding directly in my face and springing life into my soul. 

When I place, in that same caldron, the moving values and relative truths and the surrounding world making every attempt possible to “press me into its mold,” I can find solace only in and with God Almighty. 

If I attempt to survive only by my own efforts, I could grow weary and beaten down—yes even defeated.  Now, this is where the tide of this “unusual time” changes.  Not only do the words found in the above verses come to life, but God becomes more real as I look to Him with His promises ringing in my soul and crying out from my lips. 

Society will offer hundreds of crutches for me to lean on but they do not compare to the Divine Words of the Old and New Testaments. 

I am reminded of a very serious conversation I had with an experienced combat soldier facing a major battle.  The subject of prayer surfaced as it often does in crises. 

His comment was, “Chaplain, I have only prayed in emergencies” to which I replied, “but Sarge, would you consider what we are facing now an extreme emergency?” 

He responded positively and we not only prayed together but had a more in-depth conversation.  He never lived through that confrontation but as I met his family and presented the message at his Memorial Service, while I shared keenly in this loss, I had confidence in God from our three-way conversation and prayer those preceding days.

The God of Psalm 91 is the same God today.  He reminds us of our need and His ever-seeing eye and overwhelming power to step into where we live and breathe. Both the Testaments proclaim His desire for His disciples to live trusting Him in striking contrasts to the pressures of this world and the surrounding culture. 

We place our security first in Him, then share His promises to us with those around us.  I can have confidence that He accepts my dread and becomes my security.  He is the same God who inspired the writer of this Psalm, for in His own words, He does not change through time.  He is the ever present “I Am.”   

Can we still see the footprints of God on our journey in this unusual time of Century 21?

"Dear God, I pray for all of us in ROA, in this needy world of ours today. I am not asking for You to change circumstances but I am asking that You make us (especially me) worthy men and women in the profession of arms for this generation in which we live.  Help us to be Your shining light in a world of darkness, anxiety and misery.  I pray Your leadership, strength and protection, both physical and spiritual, be granted to all for You are our ‘refuge and fortress and in You we place our trust.’  Amen."

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