The concept of living in someone’s shadow seems strange for most people. It niggles at our pride. For some people it stirs up memories of sibling rivalry or other painful family comparisons.
As Christians, we live in Someone’s shadow – The Lord’s!
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2
We don’t get much hot sunshine on this little Island of Ireland, but I’m ok with that; it’s why we can write in all our tourist brochures that our grass is ‘forty shades of green’! But I have to admit, every Summer I secretly hope we get some hot weather; not too hot though!
Do you ever think you want a roasting hot summer, but then when it comes, you find that after a couple of weeks it starts to drain the very life out of you? The heat saps all your energy, so that all you want to do is lie next to a pool and drink something ice cold.
Life is just too hot sometimes.
The heat of life, the stress, strain and striving. The heat can feel too intense to cope with. We crave some shade, some relief from it all; Somewhere to rest and recover our strength.
God’s Shadow Provides that place for us. His shadow is ….
A Shade from the Heat of Life
A shadow is a place of protection, providing relief from the full blast of the sun.
This is what God’s shadow provides us. Although He didn’t ever promise us that we would have a life free of hard times, God has provided for us a place of refuge, shade, shelter, comfort, peace, rest, renewed strength and so much more, when we abide in – live in – His shelter. That is, when we make the choice to make the shelter of His presence a lifestyle. To keep company with Him.
We can’t survive in the intense heat of life without the shade God’s shadow provides.
A Hiding Place
What do you picture when you think of a shady place? A canopy? A nice big gazebo or beach tent, shading you from the sun, yet allowing a cool breeze to waft through? That was what I used to think. But God’s Shadow is so much more than that!
He is our shelter and we are completely covered and surrounded on all sides by His protection.
God’s Shadow is more than just some sort of canopy over our heads – its a hiding place.
Your enemy Satan cannot place even a toe into the fortified sanctuary that is ours and ours alone. So, when he comes with accusations and lies such as “God couldn’t love you, remember what you did last week?” Then remember instead Colossians 3:3: “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
The Psalms are filled with references to God as our Hiding Place. David wrote this beautiful penitent Psalm, after being convicted in his heart over unconfessed sin. It’s a testimony to God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness, and the security that is found in taking refuge in, and dwelling in, the shelter of His presence: Psalm 31:19-20 ‘You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.‘
Psalm 17:8-9 ‘Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.’
Psalm 33:19-20 ‘How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world. You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.’
‘For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.’
What a beautiful picture of our God! Why would we ever want to be anywhere else but in the shelter God has provided for us, for there in His shadow is where we find all we need.