We all know dialing 9-1-1 will get you to an emergency services dispatcher. Their duty is pretty crazy at times. They take the calls, send the officers, absorb the wrath, counsel the distraught, and instruct over the phone when life is in peril!
In their work center we dim the lights and skew the hue for mental tranquility. We’ve discovered that a soothing ambience has a calming effect on the champions “behind the mic” hearing more tragic news per day than most people will hear in a lifetime.
This group of professionals receive more crank phone calls than all others combined, but the callers are actually serious. “I gotta a bear in my pool. Get someone here quick,” hollers the one soliciting assistance on the emergency line. On rare occasion there is a bear, but typically found is a large possum or other marsupial.
“You better send someone fast, cuz’ I’m about to shoot my man. He came home smelling like the cocktail waitress,” exclaims a distressed woman looking for help.
“Ma’am, please put the gun down and don’t shoot your husband. We have officers on the way.”
Dispatchers are required to translate “crazy” into “sane,” an acquired skill that takes time. “HURRY, HURRY, HURRY! It looks like an explosion on the street next to the all night convenient store. Car parts and bodies everywhere,” shouts the reporting party.
“Units respond code three (lights and siren) to an injury collision at the corner of Fifth and Main,” says the skilled dispatcher with a calm voice. “Fire/Rescue is enroute.”
The next call can be as diverse as a complaint about a broken water line that is flooding a local street, or the barbaric act of one human destroying another with a meat cleaver.
Dispatchers link citizens to the assistance they need, and officers to resources while offering help to others. At times the dispatch center can be busier than Grand Central Station, and other times as calm as a library. But there is always an assuring voice to answer 9-1-1 and capable of triaging the tragic tale being told so people receive the services that are needed.
Ironically, a helpful Bible verse to memorize and apply is Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
Using the study method of observe, reflect, and apply, let’s dissect this verse.
- “He (or she) who dwells . . .”
To remain, or “stand fast” as we’d say in the military or law enforcement. Better yet, take up residency!
- “. . . in the shelter . . .”
Something that provides protection from harm or the weather.
- “. . . of the Most High . . .”
- “. . . will abide . . .”
Submissive connection; grafted into that which is stronger for strength and guidance.
- “. . . in the shadow . . .”
Following close behind.
- “. . . of the Almighty . . .”
So my observations of this verse read like this. “I will remain a resident, protected from harm by God Almighty, and be submissively grafted for strength and guidance as I follow near to my Lord.”
How do I take up residency? … Say yes to God’s invitation and begin (or continue) a personal relationship with his Son, Jesus Christ.
What does spiritual shelter look like? … When viewing circumstances with an eternal perspective, nothing can harm me. My health and wealth can be lost in this world, but no one can take my hope in God’s assurances let alone damage my spirit or my soul.
God Almighty is sovereign. This attribute gives him the ability to rule his creation while allowing me to experience free will.
Being connected through grafting means I need to yield to his instruction so it permeates my thoughts and actions in life. I cannot be spiritually nourished if I pinch the source of supply.
Residency requires that I spend significant time in God’s Word and with the bride of Christ—the church
Acceptance to abide in his shadow is immediate. But yielding to his instruction to firm up the grafting is a continual process.
To follow in God’s shadow means I need to walk toward the light.
You will have your own observations, reflections, and application of this passage of Scripture. And I encourage you to do so. The Reformation Bible Commentary says it succinctly. “Those who draw near to God can have peace in him, however difficult their circumstances.” I believe you will find it easy to remember by simply referring to Psalm 91:1 as God’s 9-1-1.
 https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Ps.91.1 – accessed on January 8, 2016.