The Upper Room devotional reflection for Friday, November 4, 2022, comes to us from Jackie Johnson of Arizona.

1 I love you, LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies. 4 The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 5 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. 6 In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

Psalm 18:1-6NIV



My husband and I are preparing for retirement and a major move, all during the Covid-19 pandemic. The world outside of my home feels chaotic. At the same time, the world inside my home feels full of change and transition. This leaves me feeling depressed. I try to distract myself, but my anxiety and fear are constantly with me. When my daughter’s dog, Dash, is scared, she runs and burrows into the center of her big yellow pillow.

Watching Dash run to the safety of her pillow one day, I thought, Where is my safe place? I realized that diversions only push aside my fears and anxieties temporarily. I needed something more solid. One morning, during another wave of anxiety, I came across Psalm 16:1 NIV: “Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.” I felt the Almighty offering me a safe place. So I shared my fears and anxieties, and God filled me with a sense of comfort and relief. Now when I feel anxiety threaten to overwhelm me, I think of Dash running to her pillow for safety, and I’m reminded that God is my safe place.



We can all identify a moment or moments when we felt completely overwhelmed by the circumstances of our life. Moments when the pressure to juggle all our responsibilities, and relationships felt like a ton of bricks on our chest. How we cope with the pressure is as important as identifying the sources of the pressure. Psalm 18:1-2, reminds us that God is our source of strength, the solid rock on which we stand, our fortress and stronghold of protection, and our deliverer from the traps that attempt to ensnare us. As people of faith, our method for coping with the pressures of life, calls us to fall into the comforting arms of our loving God. I invite you to meditate on Psalm 18:1-3 throughout the week, that it may remind you that God is your place of safety.

--Pastor Anthony


Loving God, thank you for your wonderful love. Help us turn to you for comfort and peace when we are overwhelmed. Amen.

-- Jackie Johnson

Prayer Focus:

Those who suffer from anxiety.

Thought for the day:

When I feel overwhelmed, God is my safe place.