Psalm 121:5-6 – The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. (KJV)
Some of my favourite devotionals are written by missionaries who share testimonies of people from all over the world. One message, in particular, stands out in my mind: the story of an individual from South Africa who has Downs syndrome. His uncle describes him as childlike, simple, and full of faith. And when he prays, others can sense that he is close to God.
One day, the young man's uncle asked him, "How do you picture God?" "As a shade," he replied. "Look! There He is!" Then, with excitement, he stood up and began to run around, all the while pointing to a figure that was his own shadow.
But even as shade reminds us of God's presence, to the Bible writers who lived in the Middle East where heat from the sun is extreme, shade was literally a matter of protection as well. This idea brings to mind the following words from one of our beloved church hymns by Elizabeth C. Clephane:
- Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty rock
Within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness,
A rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat,
And the burden of the day.
What wonderful illustrations of today's Scripture! Even as shadows are produced by the sun, God is visible to us when we walk in the light. Moreover, we can rest under the shadow of His wings where we will find shelter and safety.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You for the shade of Your protection. Guide us always to walk in the light of Your truth as we enjoy the blessings of Your holy presence. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.