DWELLING IN THE SHADOW
Psalm 17:8 (NIV) 8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
August 2015: It has been an unusual year with far too much rain early in the summer; so much that I feared for getting hay in before Fall again. Then as quickly as it was too wet, it became abnormally dry; too dry in fact for things to grow as they typically would.
The ground became uncharacteristically parched, cracked, and brown. The only thing that flourished in the lawns seemed to be the quack grass and weeds. Mowing consisted of cutting clover, butter cups, that quack grass, and various weeds most of which I cannot put a name to. The yards seemed barren and devoid of actual grass…except…
While mowing the aforementioned magnitude of weedy areas, I discovered an oasis of types. Under the large trees in the yard around the house – almost the only shade on the areas I mow – the grass is different – markedly, and totally, different from the rest of the lawns.
Under the shadow of those trees, the ground covering is uniformly grass – beautiful grass. A different shade of green; it is lush; it is soft looking, and it is completely devoid of weeds. It is a place of complete contrast to the rest of the lawns – a place that seems protected from the harshness of the barren surroundings. Its symmetry evokes a feeling of rest and peace in me.
Continuing to mow and thinking about the stark differences in the two areas of lawn, I couldn’t help but draw a parallel to us humans and the world around us. Psalm 91:1 tells us: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” In order to produce a shadow, the Almighty God must be very near us. When we are that near to, and dwell in the shadow of, the Almighty, we can experience the rest and protection that shadow provides. When we remain near to Him; when we live our lives totally dependent upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we can rest assured He will shelter us during the storms of life. As we remain in the shadow of the Almighty, we can live a life that exhibits the uniformity and vibrancy only Jesus can bring – a life that exhibits consistent faith – a life of security and peace; a life devoid of “weeds”.
As I am under the trees and look out away from them, I see the adjoining area as the world without Christ. I see bleakness; barrenness; a place crowded with weeds that choke out the lush grasses afforded by the shadow of those trees. I see a place without beauty; without hope, security, or peace; a place unprotected from the harsh elements. I sense a measure of hopelessness for those places. I see it as a stark difference between the life that is lived with and for Christ and one that does not know Him or does not desire to live for Him.
Personally I’m grateful for His protective shadow and I desire and chose to live in it. How about you?
Honor Him in the Trials
February 16, 2011