Psalm 61 (Psalms on the trail)

Psalm 61:1-2,4

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 

From the end of the earth I call upon you as my heart grows faint….

Let me abide in your tent forever,

find refuge under the shelter of your wings.  

Psalm 61:1-2,4

 Reflection:  As the AT hike progressed, my hiking buddy and I were able to put in more miles.  We would often stop for supper around 4:30 or 5:00 and then hike another couple of hours until dusk.  By that time I would be bone-tired and the ten minutes it took to set up the tent, blow up the air mattress, take some Advil and get organized was bearable mainly because the pack was finally off my back.  Still, I could feel myself fading faster than the sunlight.  It was all I could focus on: to climb under that thin skin of a shelter and lay my head on a makeshift pillow of clothing—sufficient grace for the night.

The way I felt about my tent, with all my weariness, focus, need for rest and protection, is the same way the psalmist thought about God—only more focused and with deeper need.  The psalmist saw God as sufficient grace to entrust one’s life.  And so i wonder: Is that how I think of God? Am I as focused on living in God’s grace as I was on sleeping in my tent?


1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder? How do you envision God as shelter?

2. Or read all of Psalm 61 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse is from Psalm 62:1.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.