Looking For Shade

England has been having absolutely gorgeous weather.  I often thank the Lord for giving me the joy of living along England’s coast with sun sparking like diamonds across the water of The English Channel, and the South Down hills rising in splendour, dotted with green woodlands and vast fields.  The sky is blue, the temps are warm.  Yesterday it even got hot!  It reached 22C/73F here on the coast.  People were out with family having picnics, playing football, tossing frisbees.  Some were on bikes, while others like me, were out with their dogs.

Jack and I were at a particular recreational field where we like to walk and run.  Yesterday we kept to the edges as much as possible trying to stay beneath the trees.  At one point as we walked the perimeter, we came to an area where no trees were growing. I could feel the sun’s heat on my skin.  After only a few minutes my face and arms grew uncomfortable with sun’s searing rays.  Jack’s tongue was hanging out, his head hanging low.  Ahead of us a tree stood but the direction of the sun did not allow it to offer any shade; but wait, hope!  As we neared I could see just a hint of the tree’s shadow on the ground.  It was only about two feet wide but I headed straight for it.  As soon as I stood beneath the shade, I could detect an immediate cooling; only slight, but most welcome.  Jack ducked into a nearby bush seeking his own refuge from the heat of the afternoon.  We were both thankful for the respite, if only small, and for a short time.

While I stood there, a lovely reminder popped into my thoughts.  The words of Psalm 91: 1-4, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find shelter in the shadow of the Almighty.  This alone I declare about the Lord: He alone is my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust in Him.  He will cover you with His feathers.  He will shelter you with His wings.  His faithful promises are your armour and protection.”

None of us can escape the heat of today’s concerns along life’s pathway.  The pressures of day to day living brings discomfort.  We seek a shade of ease, shadows of protection that will offer some consolation to our stress, solace from burdens that burn within, slowing our resolve to proceed along our course.  We need, “the shelter of the Most High.”  To stand in His presence, giving Him our burdens, there comes sweet relief.  To feel the coolness of His soothing presence, with its reminders that nothing at all is impossible with Him, is a renewing of strength.  We will have hardships.  Situations will be as uncomfortable as the scorching rays of sun on cloudless days, but will shelter be found?  Oh yes!  We may always find rest in Him; not some of the time, but all of the time.  Just go to Him.  Stand beneath the shade of His care, and rest in His comfort.


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