Monday, July 1, 2013

Psalm 121:5b-6

…the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
Ah summer! The hot sun. Fireworks. The beach. Sunburn. Baseball. Blistering heat. Lemonade. Mosquitoes. Did I mention the sun? I sure hope you don't experience any sun-related illness this summer. But if you or a friend face a heat emergency, the first thing you must do is find a cool place to sit quietly. Your body needs a cooler environment immediately. And stay in the shade.
Guess what? God is your shade. This is wonderful truth because life is often miserably hot. You have known the scorching heat of loneliness, discouragement, failure, temptation, fear, helplessness, and hopelessness. You have been burned by bad relationships at home. You have cried hot tears. Please hear this! You must find shade immediately.
God is the shade on your right hand. This means he is constantly near you. He is permanently near you to offer you the cool shade in the heat of your life. Have you ever tried to lose your shadow? It's impossible (unless you're Peter Pan…and sadly, you're not). It is easier for you to lose your shadow than to lose the Lord's presence. Even if you walk through the dark valley of death, God is with you. In fact, Jesus has promised he will never leave nor forsake you.
The simple truth is you cannot lose God. He is always right there. There will always be unbearable heat in your life, but why stay there when you can run to the shade of God's comfort? You see, you can't lose God because Jesus lost God on the cross. He was abandoned for your sin. He was forsaken, crushed, banished from the Father's presence and favor so by faith you will never be alone. Look to the cross to find out how much God loves you.
Jesus knows your painful heat. He was slandered, ignored, hated, forgotten, mocked, and misunderstood. He is truly the Man of Sorrows. So go to your Shade. Nobody understands like him. There will always be hurts and disappointments, but you don't have to live there. Run to your Shade when the problems arise. Cast your cares upon him. Talk to him!
Whatever could harm you in the night or in the day will not smite you while you are in the shade. My three children all cried as babies when the sun was in their eyes. But the most amazing thing happened when we pulled a shade down. They stopped crying. If you're complaining about the hardships you're facing, my friend, you are simply not in the shade. Your God loves you and he's not waiting for you to mess up. He knows life is hard, but he is your Shade. You need a cooler environment immediately.

Food for thought: Why live in the heat when you can live in the shade?

- Andy Gleiser
Student Ministries Pastor | www.burgeterrace.org
Founder | www.3gministries.org