Psalm 91:1 ” He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
When I think about “shadows,” I instantly think of places that wallow in the dark.
Numerous Girl Scout outings can most likely be blamed for this crazy notion.
Silly stories were conjured up mostly consisting of ghosts, goblins and such.
Huddled close by the camp fire or burrowed deep in the corner of a dark tent, we each embellished our stories making them bigger than life itself.
I’m on the first step … I’m on the second step … I’m on the … “Boo!” You get the pattern!
As a child I found myself intrigued by these fabrications that would bring a stand of bristles to my neck and a scream that would challenge any true actress. Looking back I have to laugh at the story lines that once had me frozen in my seat.
Yet as with anything, there are consequences.
Mine is the wild imagination I have been left with as an adult.
It often takes over, vividly portraying the worst case scenario around every corner, while conjuring up fearful images that might lurk about.
I am thankful as I have “grown up” in the Lord these images have “lessened” and “faith” has taken their place.
But today as I read, my mind is opened up to a whole new image of “being in the shadow.”
This is a place quite opposite of all the wild places my mind wants to take me.
For this is a place to abide,
a place of protection,
and a place without fear.
As my mind wraps itself around this visual picture, I imagine an eagle with its wings spread wide, sheltering everything beneath its span.
The word “dwell” jumps off the page and I begin to wonder about the full meaning of this word,
so of course I do what any techno savvy woman would do, I look it up on “Google.”
Definition of the Word “Dwell” ~~
To remain for a time; To keep your attention directed ; To live as a resident;
Do I “dwell” in the shelter of the Most High?
The definition itself answers my question.
Often I remain for a time.
My own distractions seem to take me out of the “abiding” mode.
I find myself placing my faith in my own abilities.
Tragically I fail each time in my own strength and find myself back at Jesus’ feet asking for forgiveness.
This leads me to the next definition.
“To keep your attention directed!”
As my Grandmother aged, I was intrigued by her walk with Jesus.
So one day out of the blue, I asked.
“Grandma, at what age did it become easy for you to be consistent in reading your Bible each day?”
Now mind you, my Grandma Dorothy loved the Lord greatly.
I can see her now, sitting in her arm chair, reading her Bible. This image is truly ingrained on my heart, as it was a daily occurrence for her.
I was certain she must have the secret to “enjoying” a disciplined Bible time with the Lord.
I was shocked at her answer!
Without hesitation, she answered me quite directly.
I sat baffled as I thought about all of the memories that included her much worn out Bible sitting on her aged lap, pages crinkled and bent with thousands of scribbles written in its margins.
“93 years old! It’s never gotten easier? Even at your age?”
“No, but Lori, it has always been worth it!”
Grandma’s words have stuck with me.
I remember thinking as a young believer, that as I “matured” (said with a twinge of sarcasm), this journey must get easier.
But it is not easier. It is not a breeze.
I find I have to be intentional on every front.
God’s Word has become the map and guide that directs me towards living out my faith.
I read the remainder of the definition.
My heart smiles and shouts out a grand “alleluia!” Now this part I can do!
“To live as a resident.” Heaven comes to mind and God’s promises come to the forefront of my thoughts.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
My mind grapples with this new way of thinking.
To dwell, to remain, to live as a resident, free from fear, free from my own expectations.
I sit. Pondering this new imagery of the word, “shadow.”
I redirect my attention to remaining, to dwelling, to residing.
As I do, my Grandma Dorothy’s words are impressed upon my heart, settled firmly in my mind.
Knowing that for this moment I will choose to dwell until the day I will reside with Him forever.
Worth it? Definitely!