Posted by: Jo | November 7, 2014

Safe In The Shadow Of The Almighty

“How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings”
(Psalm 36:7)

Shadows of a family holding hands Last week a charming little video appeared in my e-mail. It depicted toddlers outside in the sun noticing their shadows for the first time and their reactions were delightful to watch. Some were a little nervous at first and tried to run away from this strange creature that seemed to follow them everywhere, but others were intrigued by a new playmate who could run and dance with them. One of the adventurous ones was very disappointed when his new friend seemed to disappear when he ran into the shade of a building, but what caught my attention was a little boy interacting with his shadow when suddenly a large shadow loomed over him, covering him and blotting out his own little shadow. At first he looked dismayed, but then he burst into the most delightful laughter as he looked up and saw his father (who of course was photographing him) and realised it was his father’s shadow. Perhaps he laughed with joy that his father also had a shadow, but I sensed it was because suddenly both he and his father were one big shadow.

I think this was the message the psalmists had also grasped, of how important it is to stay close to our Heavenly Father so we become one with Him, being encompassed by His all-pervading presence, being totally covered by His protective care.

“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 17:8)

Our Creator is so magnificent, so awe inspiring, so powerful, that we mere mortals are often overwhelmed by such greatness and fail to grasp His other qualities of tenderness, love and caring, deep compassion and His ever present desire to protect His loved ones. I think that is why we need many different images of our Lord to understand this. The familiar sight of a hen gathering her chicks under her feathers seems at odds with a God who created the universe, but this verse gives a graphic picture of where we should find ourselves to be;

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91:4)

Loon with chick on back When we had our holiday cabin on the lake, one of the beautiful scenes that illustrated this verse will always be imprinted on our minds. The graceful Loon was gliding across the water with two little chicks on her back when suddenly a boat appeared on the lake and immediately mother Loon fluffed her feathers and the little ones disappeared from sight, safe from any unexpected danger, close to their mother’s body, unable to be seen.

The other little scenario from my toddler’s video that impressed me, was the little one running into the shade of a building and being so disappointed to lose his own shadow. This also was grasped by the psalmists in the compelling truth that we have to choose where we will place ourselves. If we wish to be protected from the darkness of evil, we have to choose to be where the Almighty will offer his own shadow to envelope us, only there are we safe.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1)

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