Skip to main content

Shelter me

When it rains, where do we head?  Indoors or under the protection of an overhang, right? Why do we do this?  We won't melt in the rain!  We just want to avoid all the consequences of being "out in the rain" - like wet clothes, spotted eyeglasses, catching a chill, etc.  When the sun is beating down and it is hot, hot, hot - where do we head?  Into the protection of a shade tree, or indoors where it is cool because of air conditioned air!  Why?  We don't want to fry to a crisp in the hot sun, nor do we enjoy the draining feeling the heat produces on our bodies.  We "go to" shelter because we see something in our lives as a "threat" or "nuisance". We want to avoid whatever it is and so we take shelter from it.  I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing to do - for shelter is often the exact opposite of remaining in harm's way!

Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful.  Then you will say to the Lord, “You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you.”  The Lord will keep you safe from secret traps and deadly diseases.  He will spread his wings over you and keep you secure.  His faithfulness is like a shield or a city wall.  (Psalm 91:1-4 CEV)

I am going to take a couple of days with this psalm, but I want us to begin with a good understanding of what our psalmist is about to tell us.  Herein we find the key to living a pretty solidly founded and secure life.  The "place" we choose to find shelter is often the determining factor in how well we will survive whatever it attempting to bring harm into our lives!  To this end, we aren't just to occasionally find shelter in God, but are to live under his protection.  When it rains, we come in out of the rain.  When it is too hot outside, we come in to escape the heat.  When life gets challenging, it is not the time to think about running into his arms - we need to already be safely under his protection!

As a child, I'd take walks with mom or dad, and I would see their shadow next to mine.  I was "dwarfed" by the size of their shadow!  I could fit easily "inside" their shadow and almost completely disappear, but I had to get up close to them.  Maybe this is the picture our psalmist wants us to have of what it is like to live in the shadow of God All-Powerful.  We have to get up close and personal with him - so we no longer observe two "shadows" - we become one!  My actions were overshadowed by the actions of my mom or dad when I stood in their shadow - leading me to believe that my actions need to be overshadowed by God's actions on my behalf, as well!

Why do we run to shelter?  Isn't it because we have come to trust something will provide some element of protection for us when we do?  I daresay much of the action we take in life is either because we are running toward something we trust, or running away from something we cannot trust!  What God wants for us is a consistent trust in his sheltering arms.  He wants us to not only find shelter there, but to be confident (trust him) he will provide for our safety (emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially).  

Secret traps and deadly diseases give us insight into how God shelters our lives.  First of all, secret traps are set to ensnare us without giving us any clue they are there.  When someone knows the path we are walking like the back of their hand, they can spot those traps.  Why? It is simply that they are so familiar with the "territory" that they know when something isn't as it should be.  We don't always have this insight into our actions because we are too close to the situation and we haven't been all that observant of the "territory" we are headed into! We need the protection of God to help us avoid secret traps set to trip us up and get us ensnared into stuff / situations which could be our undoing.

Deadly diseases is simply another word picture to give us insight into how God protects those who place their trust in him.  I don't know what it is like to get polio because I received the vaccine against polio as a child.  I didn't get the measles as a child because I was vaccinated against it.  I didn't get malaria when I visited some far reaching countries because I was taking anti-malaria medications as instructed.  Deadly diseases aren't always visible - are they?  They are "airborne" particles unobserved by the human eye.   They are microscopic organisms picked up on our hands and given entry into our bodies as we touch our hand to mouth.  What we don't "see" or "perceive" is what I think our psalmist has in mind here.  We need to find shelter from what we might not even perceive as a threat to us!

Two pictures of safety are presented - the spreading of the wings over the chick and the shielding fortress of a strong-walled city.  Both are excellent word pictures to give us insight into what it is to trust God's protection in our lives.  I have observed some small chicks just crawl right under the spaces of the wings of the mother bird and be totally sheltered out of view within their covering.  What is pictured here is this idea of being "under" and "close to" the one who shelters us from the predators in our lives.  The strong-walled city is a picture of those forces which come against us, seeking admittance into our lives, but which are bound to do us harm if they are given access.  

Both are apt pictures of God's powerful "shelter" when we place our trust in him.  All shelter is based upon trust - some from what we can see and others from what we cannot!  When we place our trust in God himself, our shelter is assured from both!  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean