God Wants TO BE Your Shade…
“The LORD is your shade at your right hand” (Psalm 121:5).
Let’s soak in this verse for a moment together.
(please click on the Bible books/chapters/verses below to read the actual Scriptural text)
Something/Someone can only give you shade when:
1. it is placed in between you and that which is burning you (e.g. a tree must be in between you and the hot sun, not behind you when the sun is in front of you);
2. it is bigger/wider than you or when you choose to lower yourself before it so that it is bigger/wider than you (Charlie Brown’s tree won’t suffice, standing on a ladder that makes you taller than the tree won’t provide you shade either);
3. you get very close to it (standing 1,000 yards away from a broad 50′ tall tree won’t enable you to enjoy its shade).
A. Let’s ask Jesus to teach us how/help us choose to place HIM in between us and whatever is causing us grief, whatever is burning us, whatever we need shade from. Let’s ask Him to teach us to allow His face to eclipse the fireball that beats down on us, to focus primarily on HIM and not the problems we face. Hebrews 12:1-3 instructs us to do exactly this: to fix our eyes on Jesus when we are so weary that we are considering giving in to fear and giving up/quitting–to think about the suffering He endured for us so that we won’t give up under the suffering we are enduring for Him.
B. Let’s ask Jesus to help us trust that He is bigger than our trials, that He is ultimately in control of those elements of life that blind us, dehydrate us, and sap our strength, that just as He has allowed the blazing sun to rise He will also eventually (either on earth or in heaven) cause that sun to set and “walk with us in His Garden in the coolness of the day” (Genesis 3:8). Let’s also ask Jesus to help us learn how to bow before Him daily in a posture of humility, vulnerability, and dependence, voluntarily allowing Him to be bigger than us so that He truly can provide shade for us during the High Noons that we face. Perhaps this is part of what Jesus meant when He said that those who elevate themselves will be lowered (over-heated) and those who lower themselves will be elevated (shaded)(Luke 14:11).
C. Let’s ask Jesus to guide us to get as close as we can to Him through deeply reading the Bible, through worshiping Him in Spirit and in Truth, through deep friendship with other Christians, through weekly church services, through daily prayer, through journaling, etc. so He truly can be the shade at our right hands. Let’s not be content to give Jesus a distant head-nod & subtle wave across the crowded gatherings of life; let’s walk right up to Him (or cry out to Him to walk up to us!) and rub shoulders with Him Whose shoulders were rubbed raw by the Cross for us.
D. Finally, let’s notice that the verse above doesn’t say that God wants to GIVE us shade; He wants to Personally BE our shade! God is most interested
He is also interested in us serving Him, but that is secondary to us knowing Him. He wants our hearts before He wants our hands. He doesn’t just want to bless us with stuff (although He does that too!); He wants first to bless us with Himself (and interestingly enough, as we grow closer to knowing God as friend & King we are much less interested in getting stuff from Him).
Each day may we learn to give God what He wants:
to let HIM be our shade through the scorching heat of life…