He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I’m a writer who lives with a journalist, so we share a love of words and ideas, but our work lives are markedly different. He goes to the newsroom, covers the day’s events, and comes home. I stumble into the study and hunker down for the duration. My day often lasts long after his is over. This can be a problem.
Once he’s back, I try (though not as often as I should) to spend a couple hours watching TV with him. Lately, he has a penchant for “guilty pleasures”—teen angst soaps like “Gossip Girl” and the new “90210”. I’m appalled at the wealthy, wasteful lifestyles they promote. These kids have crossed from conspicuous consumption to conspicuous assumption. Their abusive sense of entitlement is frightening. By the time I scramble back to the study, I’m so irate about what this says to young people, my partner’s glad I'm gone.
Where and How
As these shows (and the mortgage crisis) attest, we’ve confused where we live with how we live. Our homes have declined in value from family nests to status symbols. It’s less about their inner workings than external appearances. Be it ever so humble? Are you kidding me? And if we’re not careful, this poisonous mentality can creep into our spiritual mindset as well. We can't allow what living in Christ looks like to others to override what’s happening with us.
I like to think of Psalms as the Believer’s Architectural Digest. It’s packed with vivid descriptions of where we live: God is our refuge (46.1); our hiding place (32.7); the rock that is higher than I (61.2); our dwelling place throughout all generations (90.1); our fortress and high tower (144.2). The thread here is security for us, not aesthetics for others. Then Psalm 91 connects the where and how. When we take shelter in God, we rest in His shadow.
Merely residing in the presence of God brings peace and assurance. He knows everything, can handle anything, and loves without restraint. But, as the 91st goes on to explain, He’s also fiercely protective: “If you make the Most High your dwelling… then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”
Years ago, an atheist friend whom I loved and admired enormously said, “I can’t see why you abide all that malarkey.” I answered, “Harry, it may not look so hot from the street. But once you’re inside, it’s amazing.” Rest easy. Ignore what others think. Live in God. Be safe. Feel secure. Dwell well.
There's no safer, better place to live than in God's shelter, resting in His shadow.
(Tomorrow: Claiming Our Future)