“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” -Psalm 91:1
When I lived in South Africa, a lot of our life was lived outdoors. Compared to the American way of being indoors, I much preferred it. Large gatherings, walking instead of driving, coffee with a friend, spending time together as a family, special meals with close friends… all done outdoors.
In our city of Cape Town it was not stereotypically hot as many assume when they think of the continent of Africa. We had many cool or even cold days. But, quickly, you did realize that even if the temperature wasn’t scorching, the sun was still intense. For my pale skin I could get burned easily. For everyone though, the gaze of the sun was an unwelcome thing.
I remember many large gathering with friends in parks or along rivers. Often there was two or three trees nearby. Inevitably, everyone would be vying for a spot in the shade of the windswept trees. I have many fond and funny memories of 15-20 adults and children packed into one little plot of shade. Kids crawling all over us, food balanced on flimsy plates. Sometimes we would shout a “hello” to the rest of the group crowded into the shade of the next closest tree. Vast expanses of grass were everywhere around us. But, in that tiny plot of shade is where we all squeezed.
For many, the concept of a “shadow” evokes imagery of secrecy, danger lurking, the hidden parts of us we don’t want to reveal. In Psalm 91, a shadow is a place of rest and refuge. For those who follow Jesus, we get to abide or take up residence in a shadow. Not just any shadow but the shadow of God himself. Whatever threatens to scorch us or sap our strength, there is a place of shade and escape.
In these days where so many threats seem to be looming; viruses, economic calamity, isolation, the unknown future. What would it look like for you to “rest in the shadow of the Almighty”? In this world it feels that threats and fears lurk in every shadow. But there is one shadow that is a place of rest. In a world that makes us weary, there is a place of rest.
I will be posting every few days on a Psalm during this time of social distancing. I will also include a link to a resource, article or other content that you might find help in this time.
Today I would like to highlight Curable Health. This app was life changing for me in finally breaking years of Chronic pain (muscle and migraine). There was the side benefit of drastically reducing anxiety I was experiencing! During this time they have decided to make most of their app available for free as a service to people who might find it helpful. If you download the app you will find the free resources that are available, greatly expanded. If you struggle with chronic pain or anxiety I would highly encourage you to check it out and even consider subscribing!