Yesterday I heard one of those sermons that makes you stop and realize where you are and where you need to be, and best of all, how to get there. As I listened to this guy talk about the over 7,000 qualified promises of God, the great Promisekeeper, I was reminded that while I live my life, worrying about my kids, fighting middle age weight gain, paying my bills, and trying to help The Mister in school, there is an untapped wealth of promises for me, at my disposal, promises from the One, the ONLY ONE I can truly ever depend on.
The guy went on to say that the first step in living a life that is governed by the promise principle to the most basic step of all :” Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” An overwhelming promise found in James 4:8 and truly the basis for all other promises. As we step towards the Promisekeeper, He takes a step towards us.
So this morning, as is my practice, I settled in The Mister’s big chair with Willow and a cup of coffee. In a quiet voice I asked Him to help me take a step towards Him because I desperately need Him to be close, as if there is ever a time we don’t find ourselves desperate for His presence.
I found my reading here:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
As if He knew my thoughts were on promises, He delivers one to me as clear as the brilliant orange and red sunrise on a clear February morning.
If I dwell in His shelter, he will allow me rest in His shadows.
If I Dwell….live, eat, sleep, work, play, laugh, cry, serve my husband, love my girls, be a friend, stand up for the marginalized, love my friends…..The Hebrew calls it “settling down”. I like that. I want to settle down inside this shelter.
in the Shelter of the Most High….His place of protection, His place where I can see the glory of the Father and not be consumed, The place of knowing Him and loving Him more than any other love, the new dwelling that allows me eternal life and life abundant…the place that is the shelter looks to me like a cross….
I will rest…… not manipulate, or scheme, not worry or fret. Rest….complete calm…..Resting means renewing and the Hebrew says that is “spending the night in a restful place” I will lay my troubles and worries down, my desire to move forward, to embrace power and just….rest….
in His Shadows…..I find this sweet rest in His shadows. In His shadows, under the broad expanse of Who God is, I find shade from the beating sun, so much so that I lay down and rest, take a nap, even spend the night here. Where is this place that I find rest? The Hebrew says that in addition to the expansive realm of God’s protection, it is also a picture of His steadfast faithfulness through the transitions of life. Much like the moving of the sun over the course of a day causing shadows to appear, in which we find shade and rest, so is the Shadow of the Almighty protecting us as the scorching sun of troubles following us through the day of our life. From birth to death, He shelters us.
And this is when I stopped and said, “Oh yes, You are very near to me right now, here in this living room while the others sleep. You have come very close to me and whispered that in the great transitions of life, from young to old, from things that troubled me as a young women, to the trials that threaten my mental state today You are there. Your expansive protection covers me and allows me to lay down and rest in Your care.
And the Shadow? It’s in the shape of a cross, the Shelter that brought me near when I was lost. It is the Shelter that keeps me eternally close to the Faithful Promisekeeper.