I read this in scripture, it was talking about God being your refuge and your shelter; about turning to God when trouble arises, and “dwelling in Him”; “dwelling in the shadow of the Most High”. And though I couldn’t understand what that meant, it sounded so incredibly sweet. And so that area of growth jumped right to the top of my prayer list. These past few months I’ve been “experimenting” with my spiritual growth in this way—If I read something in the bible that I don’t quite understand, but am intrigued by and I believe in it, then I ask Him to reveal it to me, and teach me the meaning of that thing. Things like Understanding His Sovereignty; Him giving me the Ability to Truly Love (All of) my Neighbors; receiving His blessing of wisdom and discernment like he gave Solomon. Most recently—I have been exploring what it would look like in my life to dwell in the Shadow of the Most High.
As I’m coming to see it, all of us- have a place of dwelling. A place where we return to, any time trouble arises. A place our bodies, minds and even hearts, feel are our refuge and shelter whenever a storm comes. In real life, if a snow storm comes, we all rush home, and stay inside, knowing that the roads aren’t safe, and its just not where we need to be. So we go inside to our nice little place, stay warm, and occupy ourselves with whatever house keeping chores are needed to maintain that place of dwelling; sweeping, washing, organizing, disposing of what is no longer needed etc. And for me, I’m learning that when hard times, or just flat out uncomfortable times come, I have the choice as to what place I will make my refuge. Often here when I’m facing loneliness and heartache, its so easy and tempting to make “communicating with family” my refuge; I convince myself that this is actually the problem, and that if I can just get back in touch with them, then my spirit will be at rest again and thus the internal storm will have passed over. Other times, in storms, its easy to try to make music, or sleeping, or eating, or vigorously working—our refuge. While life goes crazy, we turn from it, and envelop ourselves in the world of our chosen refuge, trying all along to convince ourselves that this will in fact bring us peace. And what I learned is that I actually want God to be the place where I run into for shelter. I want God to be my refuge in the way that I turn immediately to him and him alone; not a comforting song; not emailing my mom; not seeking affirmation in a relationship; not exercising, and not sleeping it off— but taking it to God in the authenticity of my frustration, pain, or confusion. When a storm comes, if I’m going to turn my eyes toward any one thing, I want it to be God. If I’m going to run to one thing for shelter from a storm that life has brought my way, I want to run towards God; and actively pursue maintaining a life and character that is pleasing to Him, and passionately strengthening my relationship with him. In practicing this method of running to God first, I’ve become so inwardly captured by all that God wants to offer me in a relationship with Him alone, that its almost like daily I’m so captivated by the journey of seeking him, that little else— seems to measure up to what He’s holding before my face; So looking away from the shadow of His shelter, is hardly a tantalizing temptation.