For those of us who have viewed these past 3 months through the eyeglasses of “this is much to do about nothing”, emerging from “shelter in place” probably comes with very little anxiety. About time, they might say. But for those of us who land on the side of the continuum more towards “these have been extreme, but prudent pre-cautions”, I’m guessing that expanding our bubbles can come with a certain amount of angst. To leave our homes is to venture into the world of unseen droplets. To have people in our homes is to want to know that they’ve come to us directly from 14 days of self-quarantine. More than angst, it’s enough to make one paranoid which, as a friend pointed out to me years ago, is just smart thinking when everything’s against you.
But this morning I’m reminded by the songwriter that I am a kept man.
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life.
The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
(Psalm 121:1-8 ESV)
Jehovah is a keeper of life. What’s more, says the psalmist, He is your keeper.
The Maker of heaven and earth is ultimately where our help comes from. He is our greatest safety protocol.
For He is a protector. One who will not let even our foot be moved apart from His sovereign purposes. He is our shade, not allowing sunbeam, nor moonbeam to touch the surface of our skin apart from first being given His permission. Our Father keeps watch over His children.
And He does so 24/7. In season and out of season. In times of peace and times of pandemic. He who keeps you will not slumber.
And whether we are going out, or allowing others to come in, the songwriter sings that we can rest in the promise that He keeps watch over both. Aware of all movements, determining the paths of mundane, daily life even as He observes the paths of marauding, infectious droplets.
Not that we should be reckless and test the Lord our God with thoughtless, post-quarantine behaviors, but we should be confident that outside our homes He is still our keeper. That ultimately all the safety measures and precautions in the world cannot substitute for the One who has said He will keep your life.
And so we venture out. We expand our bubbles. We release a level of self-preservation because of the fresh remembrance of divine promise. No guarantees that we won’t contract something, but every confidence that, even then, He is still the keeper of our lives.
Heading out into the world again today. Careful, but not fearful. Thoughtful, but not paranoid. Confident, but not in my own power to protect.
Heading out today because my God is a faithful and able Keeper. And I am a kept man.
By His grace. For His glory.