Friday, July 22, 2011
Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere (by the way it's probably MUCH cooler under there!), you've noticed that a heat wave is smothering the country. With heat indexes well over 100 degrees, yard work is far from a joy, it's a beating. Still, it has to be done. And I've found over the years that whether I'm mowing the lawn, picking weeds, or fighting with a kinked up garden hose . . . God is there with me. And for some reason, He chooses to talk to me when I'm lacking in strength, drenching with sweat, and on the verge of collapse.
As I worked to finish mowing, as I felt the heat literally taking me down, I sought shelter from the relentless sun under a live oak tree. A small one at that. In fact, just a year ago, the tree was beckoning its "last rights" . . . it seemed that certain death was upon it. But, I kept feeding it . . . kept my attention to it, and the tree is now flourishing. As I thought about the irony of my finding shade under this once declared dead tree, God spoke volumes.
God has resurrected "dead" parts of my life. And He did so because I sought shelter in His Shadow. I kept seeking Him and made Him the cornerstone of my life. Under the shade of my front yard tree I was amazed at how much cooler it was. I marveled at the heat that still penetrated every other part of the atmosphere, except the shade that I stood in. My whole body felt relief, I found comfort, and I was strengthened within moments. I was refreshed enough to go back out and finish what I had begun.
We all will face the heat of trials in our lives, they will threaten to consume us, but God is there to shelter and protect us through it all.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
That tree in my front yard isn't going anywhere . . . unless I cut it down. God isn't going anywhere either. He's in my life for good . . . unless I cut Him out. He is a constant source of strength, as I seek shelter in the Shadow of His Wings.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
I don't know about you, but as I face the trials of life, my spirit is willing, but my flesh grows weak. There are times when I feel as though I can't go on. There are moments that I'm not sure God knows what He's doing, and doubt tends to take over my faith. I know God has rescued me before, but I start thinking that quite possibly He's forgotten about me this time. Yet, as I press through the pain and seek His face . . . I see His Shadow . . . and I run there. I know it is there that I can find rest, peace, comfort, and strength, to continue the journey in His Shadow.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
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