The Secret Place


He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty

Pardon all the Old English, but this song, written by James MacDermid in 1908 is locked in my musical memory, and rises to my lips from time to time.  It’s taken from David’s 91st Psalm. 

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night
Nor the arrow that flieth by day
Nor the pestilence that walketh in darkness
Nor the destruction that wasteth at noonday

Click HERE to listen to The Ninety First Psalm sung by Edward Palmer

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge,
Even the most High, thy habitation,
There shall no evil befall thee
Neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling

I couldn’t find a recent or updated recording but I love the words and the music.  Over the last month I’ve made it into a prayer.  Not just recited words, but words that have been hidden in my heart since voice lessons during college.  When tempted to be fearful about my cancer diagnosis, and upcoming cancer surgery, and the possibility of treatments after that, I’ve asked God to keep me dwelling in His secret, protected, shadow, where He shields from danger.  I’ve asked Him to be my refuge, my dwelling place, because close to Him, evil can’t touch me.  His angels are all around me, guarding me from stumbling and tripping up in my fears.  Many a night over the last month, with the constant knowledge that there is cancer in my body, and not knowing how much, I’ve whispered these prayers to the Lord as I drift off to sleep.  Oh what comfort.

For He shall give His angels charge over thee
To keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands
Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone,
Against a stone


All of this reassurance, and promise of protection, had more to do with my fears, than the cancer.  More to keep me from evil temptations to doubt God’s goodness, or fall apart with anxiety, than the number of cancer cells, or the type.  After all, I was trusting my Lord back in 2002 when He allowed me to have stage 3 cancer, (with a 50% chance of a 5 year survival) and the ensuing year of treatments.  During that season He kept me close and gave me courage, and walked through the trial with me.  Then with Gary's 9 year illness, we both knew the closeness of our Lord and were continually en-couraged by Him.  Then for the last 60 days, He kept me close again and gave me courage, and eliminated the cancer with no further treatment needed. 

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty
He shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty


Someday I will likely get sick again, probably more than once, and He will comfort and strengthen me then too, until I finally enter His presence and see my savior face-to-face.   We live in a fallen world, so there are repercussions, illness being just one of them.  No one is exempt.  I am grateful to God that we have incredible medical advancements, and I received GREAT care by my health care team, but as a Christian, I know everything is an opportunity to glorify God, so let me say PRAISE GOD today.  Yes, for healing me quickly this time, but mostly for walking along with me, giving me comfort, and strength. 

The Lord said...“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him.  I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.  He will call on me and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.  With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

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