“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”
Psalm 91:1 (NLT)
Imagine yourself sitting in your living room. Cozy on your comfy couch. Chilling under the roof of your home, the four walls around you. You’re protected from the blaring sun during these crazy, hot summer days. You live in this home. You sleep in this home. You play referee at times in this home. You worry in this home. You celebrate in this home. You watch your favorite Netflix show on that same cozy couch. You enjoy dinner with family and/or friends at your kitchen table, under that same roof. Perhaps you have your quiet time from that same soft sofa or from a cushiony chair in the front room. You’re living your best life within the walls around you, with the people you love the most.
You have shelter. You’re safe. You’re comfortable. What happens when you leave the house? Do you feel protected from the outside elements the same way you feel protected under the roof of your own home? You have the gift of air conditioning to keep you from sweating like crazy. Would you consider this “living” actual rest? After feeling so proud of your four days straight of 20-minute quiet times with Lord? #goals Even after you were able to enjoy a cup of coffee while it was actually hot? You’re good. You don’t feel the need to be out there in the world and the chaos it brings at times.
I came across this Psalm in a study last week and as I dug into the meaning of each word, I was reminded that while we dwell or live in the shelter of our homes built with wood and stucco, a temporary home, really, we can dwell in the shelter of the Most High, The Almighty God Himself, all of the days of our life here on earth and for eternity. No matter where we are God is our protector, our shield, our shelter, and he dwells in us. The thing is, are we aware of this in every aspect of our life?
A shelter is a covering, a hiding place, or a place of protection. To live is to remain alive, to stay, or to dwell. You might be familiar with words such as abide, remain, or sit. God is our present and forever shelter and protection. He keeps us from every element or circumstance that tries to hurt us, deplete us, or blind us from a life with God. As the Psalm states, “those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Are you living under the shelter of God? Are you continually abiding in him? Are you remaining under his presence and protection? Or do you only do this in your short and quiet times with Lord, within the walls of your home?
Some of you may fear the outside world, get a little cranky being around people, or have so much shame and brokenness, you’re afraid people will see what’s going on inside you. I get it. I do. I am very much a people person but at times, I like to hide within the walls of my own home, avoiding people and other things. Sometimes I think I let the enemy fill my head with lies that this is simply “self or soul care.” Yes, there are times for that. I can feel so good and refreshed while spending time with God at home, then I totally forget about him once I leave the house. That’s when the shame and fear come in. How does the abiding or dwelling in Christ stop?
The end of this Psalm says we’ll “find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” What do you think of when you hear or see the word “shadow?” Some think of shadows as these dark places where we can hide and stay away from the outside world. We often want to camp out in our own shadows when we’re feeling blue, isolated, or just plain crummy. Think about this. When you walk outside today, a shadow is formed when your body blocks light from the sun. With the movement of your body, a shadow forms either in front of you or behind you, depending on where you’re standing under the sun.
God is our ultimate source of light. We draw our energy and everything that we are from him alone. He wants our every thought, act, and minute of our life. As I look at this scripture and study each word, I learned that shadows get bigger when an object is close to the light source. A shadow gets smaller when an object is far away from the light source. We are to live in the shelter of God, you know, our permanent protector, our covering, our hiding place, right? Living is an action word. Everything you are doing and breathing and thinking is “living.” As we are living in the presence and shelter of God, we also find rest in his shadow. As we move, he moves. He is either before us or behind us. My question is, “How big is your shadow? How close are you to the light source? Is your shadow small and narrow before you? Or is your shadow big and wide?”
We don’t want to just be “living,” we want to be “resting” while we’re living, right? Let’s call it “livresting,” shall we? That’s totally not a word, but today, I’m making it one. What shelter are you living under these days? I’m not talking about shiplap walls inside or the stucco walls outside your home. Are you finding shelter in having to have other’s approval? Are you relying fully on your spouse to protect and provide for you? Our shelters aren’t always the structures around us. Some of us find shelter, safety, or comfort in food, alcohol, drugs, relationships, our looks, or our jobs. Honey, these things are temporary. They cannot provide you the light source and rest you can find in our eternal Father.
Remind yourself, as you step out that door to begin your day tomorrow, when you see the shadow before you or behind you, that shadow is God, right there with you at all times. He is reminding you of who you are and whose you are. He is showing up in the shadow letting you know that you are redeemed, you are clean, you are loved, you are forgiven, you are strong, you are guided, and you are not alone. He is providing you with peace. He is freeing you from anxiety and worry. The more connected to his light, the bigger your shadow. Picture it. How big is your shadow today? How big will it be tomorrow? Next week? For eternity? What does your shelter look like? How is it protecting you from the outside elements of life?
I pray you find rest in knowing that God is always before and after you. All you need to do is dwell, live, remain, or abide in him with everything you are. I pray you know that he is your eternal shelter. He doesn’t need wood, sheetrock, or stucco. He can protect you and keep you beyond the temporary walls of your home here on earth. Rely on the shelter you have in him and disregard the shelter of the world you got so comfortable and cozy in.
Hugging you so tight,