She sleeps with them every night. Soft Kitty, Rainbow Bear, Brownie the Horse and Wrinkles the Dog. Stuffed animals—dozens of them—piled high on the covers and around her pillow and tucked under her loving arms. My two-year-old so craves the company of her plush friends, she barely leaves enough room for herself in that narrow toddler bed.
Comfort. Warmth. Security. Softness. They’re basic human needs, really, and so freely expressed in childhood. We swaddle our babes from infancy and hug away their fears. We send them to school in undershirts and snow pants and extra gloves. Drink this warm milk. Take this hot bath. Mother loves you. I will keep you snug.
Doesn’t everybody yearn for protection?
I still do. Sometimes, like my daughter, I seek it in small places. In the favorite sweater I wrap around my shoulders on a biting winter day. A fleece blanket draped heavy over sweatpants while I clutch a book in one hand and a steaming mug in the other.
Safety is that spot on my husband’s chest, where I rest my weary head and whisper hopes for tomorrow.
Where do you seek it?
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection,” (Psalm 91:1–4, NLT).
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine God as my protector. I can’t wrap my arms around him or hear his voice chatting at the dinner table. Of course he is always with me, yes, I believe that in my head—yet my heart just doesn’t picture him sitting on a bean bag chair in the living room.
Then I considered Psalm 91 and it dawned on me—maybe God isn’t in the room.
God is the room.
He is the overarching shadow that covers all my space and days and worries. No mound of teddy bears, no stack of blankets, not even my husband’s strongest embrace could ever top that.
Do you see? Deep down, our basic need for comfort is a mere reflection of our greater need for a Savior. God created us to crave security because, in the end, he’s the only place we can find it.
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved,” (Acts 4:12, NLT).
Last night, I tucked my daughters into bed and turned off the lamp. My two-year-old burrowed beneath her cluster of fuzzy pals and giggled. “Nigh-night, Mommy!”
“Good night, precious. Mom loves you.”
“I love you, too!”
In my heart, another voice whispered to us all.
Father loves you. I will keep you snug.
That is the summary of Psalm 91. As my daughter outgrows her affection for Soft Kitty and Rainbow Bear, I pray she’ll seek lasting security in her true Protector, the One who covers her with his feathers and shelters her with his wings.
What a comforting thought, yes? I’m taking it to my pillow tonight. I hope you will, too.