Tuesday, July 18, 2023

In the Shadow


Every day (except Sundays) we try to take a long walk.  We enjoy having our three-year-old beagle, Ellie, along with us.  She thoroughly enjoys these walks, sniffing and snuffling most of the way.  During the summer months (which in our area begins mid-April and continues until mid-October) we must be cautious she doesn't get too hot.  We give her water frequently and try to opt for routes with abundant shade.  

One thing I try to do on the sunny stretches is to keep her in front of me. Beagles were bred to be ahead of the hunter and she seems to prefer this.  The reason I do it, though, is so I can position myself between her and the sun.  I try to keep her in my shadow.  Since she doesn't know where my shadow is, she sometimes steps outside of that which is protecting her from direct sunlight.  Immediately, I readjust so she is once again in my shadow.  This happens numerous times during our walk.  I never tire of adjusting my steps, because I love her and I'm glad to protect her.  Often when I am moving so my shadow falls over her, I think of this verse:

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of Thy wings, Psalm 17:8

The Scriptures are full of references to us being under the shadow of His wings, or shadowed in safety by our Lord.

How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.        Psalm 36:7

Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy wings will I rejoice.                                                                         Psalm 63:7

For Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.     Isaiah 25:4

How often have we, like Ellie, unknowingly tried to walk out of the shadow of our Lord?  And unbeknownst to us, He quickly adjusts to keep us in that shadow.   His heart is ever to care for us.

 In Him we are safe, we are protected, we are loved.  As the Psalmists tell us, His lovingkindness to us is excellent.  He is our Help, our Strength and we can always put our trust "under the shadow of Thy wings."

"Lord, Thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations."

Psalm 90:1