Market Madness

by  Shirley Ralston
A version of this devotion was originally published at Thrive Ministry
Photo by NICE GUYS on
“Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”

Psalm 57:1

In my host country, security concerns prevented me from driving my own car. Every trip to town required a secure car with a GPS locator and with a vetted driver. Everything had a call sign, including me. My identity was my call sign – Papa 2 Whiskey.

Our radio exchange went like this: “Dispatch, this is Delta 219 leaving Tango 9 for HQ, Papa 2 Whiskey on board, over.”

“Papa 2 Whisky, proceed.”

The special treatment made me feel foolish and embarrassed. It set me apart and hindered my adjustment to the local culture.
But an incident on the way to town one day highlighted how equal we all are in our need for God’s protection. Heavy traffic came to a standstill in both directions as gunfire erupted all around us. Hundreds of shoppers from a local market filled the streets. “Ma’am,” my driver said, “I can’t go forward, and I can’t turn around. We’ll just have to wait for the danger to pass.” It did pass eventually.
It turns out the local police were clearing the market of illegal activity. But at that moment, with all my preparation and security precautions in place, there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. I was just as vulnerable as everyone else.
David was a mighty warrior in a league all his own, and yet he expresses this same vulnerability in Psalm 57. He placed his trust in the Lord to protect him from Saul’s pursuit.
No matter who we are, the one person we can trust when threatened is the one who holds our fate and future in His hands. We can seek refuge in the shadow of His wings until the danger passes.
“You are loved with an everlasting love,” that’s what the Bible says, “and underneath are the everlasting arms.” – Elisabeth Elliot
“I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me. He reaches down from heaven and saves me, challenging the one who tramples me. Selah God sends His faithful love and truth. For Your faithful love is as high as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches the clouds. God, be exalted above the heavens; let Your glory be over the whole earth.” Psalm 57:2–3, 10–11
The Lord honors our trust in His sovereignty and the attention we give to our safety overseas. How do you pray specifically for guidance in regards to your safety? Do you have a safety plan in place in case of political unrest, medical emergencies, etc.?

About texpatfaith

I'm a returned Christian expat living in Texas after several years residing in the Middle East and the South Pacific. I have the great privilege of writing about my experiences through the eyes of my faith, and to know and love my brothers and sisters serving in Christ's name all over the world. I have a special heart for the missionary community whom I now serve through the Missionary Care Team at my church. I am a writer, researcher, teacher, and archaeology enthusiast who also loves peering into the heavens any chance I get - but most importantly I am a wife, mother and grandmother who loves the Lord. "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman." Elisabeth Elliott Shirley Ralston (MA Christian Education, Dallas Theological Seminary)
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