You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, 'My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.'
...He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler....
Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name;
When they call to me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble,
I will rescue them and honour them.
(New Revised Standard Version)
'Pinion' is not a word we hear often, unless we think of it as tying up or restraining someone, or possibly a section of the gears of a train. However, Psalm 91 speaks of God as covering us with his pinions. The image is of a bird's wing, particularly the flight feathers - those parts from which our predecessors used to make quills. We might think of the eagle, a bird of great power with strong talons, but one that will protect its young under its wings. In the same way God will shelter all his people from danger under the shadow of his wings.
Notice this wonderful psalm doesn't say that we will be immune from danger, but that we will be 'rescued'. We will be encouraged and strengthened in our faith, and we will be delivered. Because we live close enough to be in the shadow of God, we should have the confidence to say "I trust you, Lord!"
You have promised
Your people a refuge.
Give us the strength to trust in
Your word when life is difficult
and we can see no easy future.
Help us to know that You
always have our good at heart.