Conversations at the grocery store used to end with “Have a nice day.” Now the brave people working exits advise me to “Be safe.” This pandemic has toppled our security props. And so we wonder, “Can we actually keep ourselves safe?”
One of my favorite picturebooks tells a story using the metaphor in Psalm 91: He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge. The story is set on a prairie farm, just like the one of my childhood. On this farm lived a hen with a brood of chicks. One day the unthinkable happened; a fire destroyed the barn. When the farmer went out to investigate the damage he found the charred hen. Upon removing her burned carcass, the little chicks that had found refuge underneath their mother scurried away. What a marvellous picture of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross! He gave up his life so we can have eternal life.
But that is not the end of God’s protective work. Our God, who loved us so much he sent his Son to die for us, through his unlimited power, raised his Son from the dead. God offers protection that powerful to us. Psalm 91 is for us today, in the middle of a pandemic. Read all of Psalm 91 to discover just how relevant it is.
Should we ignore safety protocols to show we believe in God’s protection? Jesus didn’t. In Matthew 4 the devil suggested that Jesus should show he was God by jumping off the top of the temple. He even used Scripture making his temptation sound spiritual. The devil ignored context and took a quote from Psalm 91 that fit his purpose: God will order his angels to protect you…so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. How did Jesus respond? Don’t test the LORD your God.
So we are prudent but not afraid. This is where Psalm 91 starts: Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. We know that whatever happens to those who love God is for their good (Romans 8:28). Now that is ultimate safety!
 The Little Red Hen was one of thirteen original pamphlets published in 1945 as part of the Illustrated Gospel Series, also known as “The McCague Lessons.”