Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finding Shade & Resting in His Shadow

Yesterday morning, I was awoken to the sound of a chainsaw and some sort of tree-limb-grinding-trailer-contraption being pulled through the field in front of our house by a big bucket truck.

The power company had sent out this crew to cut back one of our trees that had gotten struck by lightening last year. It was a big oak, and they needed to cut back the branches and limbs to keep them from drying out and falling onto the power lines. It makes me sad to loose one of our beautiful trees, but at the same time, I DO NOT like going without power. I was definitely born during the era I should have been. Any time the lights flicker, I cringe. I call Devin down at the office to see if they have power and to make sure someone's "calling it in." I know I do that, because when I was a little, and anytime the lights went out at our house, Granny was on the phone calling from her house to see if my Momma had "called and reported it" because we lived on the same power lines. makes me sad to loose a big oak because I know that you don't just "get" big oak trees- it takes generations for them to grow.

After all the trimming, cutting and grinding, here's what the tree looks like now:

Pretty pitiful, isn't it? Boy, can I relate. Some days I feel like this tree--most days, in fact. I feel cut down and weak. Vulnerable to wind and rain damage caused by the storm's of life---unable to provide anyone with anything good---unhealthy and damaged.

Several weeks ago, I was in the middle of a "rough patch." satan was on me big time and had me believing some of his lies. I got an email from my aunt, who encouraged me with this verse:

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty."
- Psalm 91:1

My aunt also encouraged me to remind myself that being led by God means that when we follow him so closely, we literally become his shadow. We have nothing to fear! Wow! What a thought. As a Christian, and a follower of Christ, I know I am in His shadow--- but I desperately want to be CLOSE in His shadow... I don't want to be in the back of the shadow, I want to be full on covered in the front of it!

This is a thought that I have been repeating to myself daily for the past few weeks. In the moments when the enemy sneaks up on me, I pray it loud. "God keep close me in your shadow, Remind me, I am in your shadow!" I feel like a baby chick running to get under the momma hen! In the moments when fear nearly consumes me, I tell myself again, I am in His shadow!! I love the picture that my mind paints when I think about it. ME safe in HIS shadow! It's hard to even imagine the greatness of it.

There, and in my weakness is where His strength is present. I may be struck by lightening and limbless but in His shadow I find peace and strength.

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on me." - 2 Corinthians 12:9

Today I will gladly say I am weak and HE is strong! Lord, let your power rest on me. Cover me with your shadow like the shade of a mighty oak!!!!

Today I pray that every person (or at least the two that actually read this), will run like a baby chick, as fast as they can to get close to our God. I pray He draws you as near to Him as you can get (you can stand by me, cause I am holding on to his sleeve today--nah, there's room, you can hold his sleeve, too! :) -- I pray that you feel His peace and strength in your life today like you never have before--no matter what storm's of life you are facing, find rest in His shadow.


Tamara Ann said...

Annie that was gave me chills reading this. Thank you!

Kristy L. Morrison said...

Make that three...I check your page constantly! Makes me feel like I'm not so far away from yall. I'm not glad that you struggle, but I'm glad to know I'm not alone:) Love you

Crystal said...

Oh Annie, this was just what I needed today! Praise the Lord that you are such a source of encouragement to us all!!

Aleta Kaylee said...

That's a beautiful post Annie...and oh, so true.

Tania said...

Annie, my sister Crystal asked me if I had read your post today. She said to please be sure and read it. I am grateful that God uses you to send His message to others. What a blessing! Thank you for sharing with us.

Aunt B said...

My mind is racing thinking about your personal experience and the Bible verse. So very often we hear preachers mention that for every occasion we can find "a word from the LORD". and boy is that true. I needed this scripture and devotional.

Steven's Great Uncle Horace once gave a brief testimony and he made the comment "If we truly seek HIM we will surely find HIM."

That being said...I need to spend more time chatting with the Lord, studying His word and seeking the Lord's Will and following His guidance. I need to be deeper in the shade.

Thank you for this soul searching post.

Life of a Savannah Bride said...

You are such a powerful encouragement and inspiration to us all. I look so forward to reading your posts. Thank you so much!

Katie said...

This is SO IN LINE with how I have been feeling I want to be (need to be, have to be) resting right there in His arms! And that in my brokeness, I am made whole. Great post! Keep 'em comin'! :o)