A Shadow From the Heat
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
I took up running and brisk walking as a daily exercise regimen a year and a half ago as a means to incorporate 30-60 minutes of continuous cardio exercise. I have learned to schedule my running/walking when it is shady. There is a noticeable difference between running in the sun and running in the shade. Isaiah speaks about the shadow from the heat, the shadow of God’s hand, and the shadow of horror (death). We appreciate a shadow and shade when we have been in the sun and heat. Isaiah uses this metaphor to help encourage us about God’s shadow over us.
We see a shelter.
A shadow is an overcast from a large object that blocks the rays of the sun. This could be a building, clouds, mountains, or trees. It is a protective shelter. We can hide under this shelter until the setting of the sun shifts a different direction. Elijah sought shelter under a juniper tree. Jonah made a booth as a shelter during the day. It is a resting shelter. When the heat is intense, we might find it necessary to rest under this shadow until it is cooler. As a shadow from the heat, our Lord provides us a resting place through His love and care.
We see safety.
Isaiah said, “A refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.” The combination of intense heat and an unexpected sandstorm can bring havoc. The heat can be burning, and the sandstorm can be blinding. Heat and storms are symbols of trials and difficulty that God sends into our life. Our reaction to storms and heat is fear and survival. The Lord is always our shadow from heat and a refuge from the storm. First, He is in control of every storm and the temperature of the sun. He never allows more than He knows we can bear. Second, it is during these times that we find safety in His shadow. Third, His safety is His strength made perfect in our weakness. And when things feel like we are in a pressure cooker, He gives us more grace (James 4:6).
We see serenity.
There is great peace under the Lord’s shadow. "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." The secret place of the most High is the very presence of God. This peace is a peace that passeth all understanding. This peace is perfect peace because our minds are stayed on the Lord. It is peace like a river; a peace that is a constant in a world where conflict and hostility have become a norm; and a peace that is only in our Lord Jesus Christ. Outside of the shadow, we are uncomfortable and grief-stricken. Under His shadow, our anxious cares are subsided and His peace rules our heart and mind.
We see satisfaction.
Jonah exemplifies for us the satisfaction that the Lord’s shadow gives us. “And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd" (Jonah 4:6). The Lord prepares a shadow from the heat exactly for our need. He makes it to come over us, that it might be a shadow over our head. Resting under His shadow causes us to realize how much we need the Lord. Come under the Lord’s shadow for your life. Come under His protective covering, and let His love for you make you exceeding glad.
Have a shadowed God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Corinthians 1-4