Psalm 62:7-8 (The Message)

“my help and glory are in God—granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.”

I had a few hours before our stay-at-home order was to go into effect. We had already been staying home as much as possible for a week. No school for the kids, which also means no job for me. I am a substitute teacher. My mind had been reeling over the lost income. How long will this last? Do I need to look for another job? I had just settled in to this one.


Along with lack of income, I was struggling at the thought of all 8 of us being together all of the time for an undetermined amount of time. I LOVE my family but it is good for us to have time a apart, if you know what I mean.


With the time left, Dave wanted to go to Menard’s, a local store akin to Home Depot, to get stuff for the house and yard. I, on the other hand, had the urge to go to Lake Michigan to be inspired and refreshed. That’s us in a nutshell, work and play.


Dave encouraged me to go, knowing it would help me. Once there with iPhone camera, Bible and notebook in hand, I started to walk. I took in what my eyes could find as I got my bearings in this new-to-me place. I intentionally slowed my mind and body. As the 30 degree cold wind hit my face I saw the water, the lighthouse, the sky, the rocks and the walking path hugging the shoreline. Something about big water and big sky draws me toward God and stillness.

lighthouses kenosha

As I turned the corner toward the marina it dramatically became warmer. I took a breath enjoying the change. About 10 steps later the noise shifted, becoming extremely quiet. It was so strange that a line of huge rocks could drastically change the volume of the lake. On one side of the breakwater it was loud and choppy, but on the other it was perfectly calm and noticeably hushed. A small group of people sat and chatted on a lone boat among lines of empty docks. Wisconsin had yet to mandate staying at home.

It hit me like a ton of bricks, this is what I need to know and remember. God is like this, a safe harbor. When all the world is swirling about, when the news batters our minds, and when the real threat of sickness or death shakes us, we have a place to go. God is our safe harbor.


Later, I googled “safe harbor scripture.” Psalm 62 in The Message version came up. I read it. I read it again. I let the truth take up residence inside my body. For eternity and for now, God is a “safe-harbor-God.”


At home, while this continued to simmer in my heart and mind, I looked up another version of Psalm 62 from John Goldingay’s “The First Testament.” In verse 1 and verse 5 similar phrases struck me: “indeed, towards God my entire being is silent,” and “indeed be silent towards God, my entire being.”

Psalm 62:1-8 (from The First Testament)

“Indeed, towards God my entire being is silent; from him my deliverance comes. Indeed, he is my crag and my deliverance, my turret – I shall not slip far. How long will you attack someone, commit murder, all of you? Like a bent wall, a fence that’s been pulled down – indeed, they have taken counsel so as to pull him down from his dignity. They accept lying; they bless with their mouth, but inside they slight. (Rise)

Indeed, be silent towards God, my entire being, because from him my hope comes. Indeed, he’s my crag, my deliverance, my turret – I shall not slip. On God rests my deliverance and my splendour; my strong rock, my shelter, is God in person. Trust in him at all times, you people, pour out your hearts before him; God is our shelter. (Rise)


I escaped to the lake, trying to navigate this new territory in which we find ourselves. I became silent. The noise is loud. My heart had been rising within me. I needed quiet. Yes, we need to listen to the important current realities. We need to take appropriate action, for ourselves and others. But we also need to be silent towards God. Why? Verse 1 and 5 also say, “from him my deliverance comes” and “because from him my hope comes.” These are promises from God: deliverance and hope. Find a spot and a time to still yourself before God. He will calm the waters of your mind and heart. He is our safe harbor during this storm.

calm water harbor

What part of your mind and heart are churned up because of what is happening with the Covid-19 virus? How is God calming you in these unprecedented days? Have you found a new rhythm in order to get quiet before God? If you are so inclined, share in the comments. What you are finding just may help someone else.

When Have You Sensed There is More?

My run always ends where the path runs into a field. I turn the corner every time and walk up a hill to my car. Usually my conversation with God has concluded by then. I slow down my breath, walk, get water and stretch, thankful for the time and the run and God speaking into my life.


On this particular day about a year ago, I was on the verge of tears the whole time since I was in the middle of something difficult. I thought I heard all I needed to hear, but God wasn’t done. And I didn’t shed all the tears needed yet. As my breathing slowed, my heart slowed with the thought,


“There is more to me than being a wife and mom.”




The exact circumstances do not matter at this point. When in your life have you felt like you, at your core, were more than your roles, more than what you currently do? When have you felt the gap? When have you sensed there is more?


God broke through and saw me there. I looked to Jesus in that moment. Jesus is so real and important to me. Scripture says he is the exact representation of God in heaven, the creator. A scene flashed in my mind, from the book of John in the New Testament of the Bible, in which Jesus was with Nathanael under the fig tree. Jesus saw him before he actually saw him. Jesus knew him before he actually knew him. Nathanael was astonished. So astonished that the encounter made him exclaim,


“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” (John 1:49)

fig tree

After the scene flashed, I sensed Jesus move close to me and whisper,


“I do know. I know you are more than a wife and mom. I know. I see.”


Jesus knows me and sees me. Jesus knows you and sees you. He sees us ahead of time. He sees you before you see him. To be known and to be seen, are arguably two of the greatest needs of a human. Jesus meets them.

If you have never experienced God seeing you and knowing you, ask Jesus to reveal himself to you. A simple prayer, something like, I want to see you, Jesus. Do you really see me and know me? I want to have an encounter with you. Show me whether you see me or not.” Make it your own words, what’s in you. And, wait, and see. Sometimes, God shows up in an instant, sometimes it takes a lot longer for us to see God. Deep in my spirit, I want you to know, the God of the Bible desires for you to know him.

Back to the story, astonishingly Jesus points Nathanael further, to even more. After Nathanael acknowledges Jesus is God, Jesus answers with this:


“Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these. Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:50-51)

sunset fig tree

When I have experienced God seeing me, knowing me and loving me exactly the way I am, I am floored. I am overwhelmed with his knowing me. But, essentially, Jesus says even more greatness exists beyond the fact of the almighty God knowing individual humans personally and intimately. There is something even greater!


Nathanael, there is something even greater you will see. Jen, there is something even greater you will see. Fill in your name. _____, there is something even greater you will see.


And we, as Christ-followers and Spirit-carriers, are promised this. Jesus’ words later in John chapter 14 are,


“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”

fig tree 2

Even now, as I type, I am challenged by his words-“whoever believes in me” and the person “will also do the works that I do.” Works like Jesus, wow.


Faith and works. Belief and action. What am I believing? What I am doing? What are you believing? What are you doing?


These questions lead us to other great questions for self-examination. It is good to ask ourselves about belief and action, convictions and trust. What are we truly thinking in these brains of ours? What is in our minds will bleed into our days. Do the color and the texture of our lives reflect Jesus?


If we are Christ-followers, Spirit-carriers, these questions can pierce our soul. We are called to live awake and attentive. This is not a call to get paralyzed in what we are not doing. This is not a call to drown in guilt because of our unbelief. Jesus calls us to consider what we are believing and what we are doing. When Jesus encountered people while he was here on earth, he altered their lives. His presence, his words, and his actions changed people. Are we ready to be changed? Do we need an encounter with him?


Jesus is powerfully gentle and convincing. Jesus’ call on our lives will affect us and the world.


Let us be renewed again and again. Let us be moved into action again and again for others. For his glory. We can’t go change the world until Jesus changes us. And I don’t know if we are willing to be changed, if we don’t know we are seen and known by him. Are you convinced Jesus sees you and knows you? If not, ask him. Are we willing? Are you willing?


A Prayer