You, O God, Are My Refuge and My Home
Psalm 139, freely interpreted.
Author: Hilde Raastad
I have a roof over my head, no bombs are falling,
There is food in my kitchen and I know where I will sleep tonight.
So, why does it feel like I am free falling
with no safety net below?
Where will my security come from when all I feel is anxiety and fear?
Who or what will protect me as destructive forces thunder inside me?
How will I feel safe when the ground under me is shaking and the future looms, unknown and dark?
Then I turn to You, O God, for You have promised to never desert me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you are all around me.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay Your gentle hands upon me
Wherever my path takes me. You know all my ways and walk them with me.
When I delight in life, embraced by my lover, playing with my friends,
You are there.
When my health fails me and my body feels utterly weak,
When there is a roar in my ears, so I cannot go on,
when death seems too close, when there is suffering and pain all around,
You are there.
When I take the wings of the morning,
Dwelling by the end of the sea, or by the foot of the mountains,
When I make new tracks in white snow, or seek solitude by a sheltered rock,
Your hand is leading me and Your right hand is holding me safe.
And when I say; “Surely darkness will soon overcome me, and the light about me will turn to night,”
When those I trust, betray me, and those I counted on, turn away from me,
When those who claim their belief in You, destroy, and those who should be compassionate, hate,
Then You are there;
Being the light in the darkness and the rainbow in the sky.
In ways I cannot understand, You formed me and created me in Your image,
You made me wondrously beautiful, your eyes saw my unformed substance,
Long before I understood and knew myself.
When I doubt my worth, You whisper to me of all that I am,
And when I feel useless, as if my life has no purpose,
You assure me I am valuable in your eyes, Your everlasting arms holding me close.
How wonderful are Your works, O God, my soul knows it so well,
And how precious is Your love, how vast, how intimate, how utterly pure.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Help me to find my voice, give me the courage to create.
Try me and know my thoughts;
As they spin like wheels with no grounding, keep me centered in You,
As they dwell on danger, assure me that I will be protected from my enemies.
Help me, O God, to walk the path of justice, and speak words of freedom.
When I fear I might be failing, wrap me in Your grace
And when life overwhelms me, empower me so I can walk on stormy seas.
Lead me on the road that leads to life; give me confidence when I walk through stark landscapes.
Help me to see, where I am called to go, and when I am called to rest and heal.
Give me faith to hold myself up when my feet falter,
Enough trust to sit down when I am worn out,
And make my fear into strength through Your embracing and empowering love.
And finally, O God, when I have lost my way, find me and bring me back,
For in you is my refuge and my home.
Hilde Raastad is a member of the Wednesday memoir writing group. She and her partner live part-time in Boulder and part-time in Oslo, Norway.