Abiding Under His Shadow

When I think about the awesome glory of God, I think about the expanse of the sky and the depth of the oceans. I think about the variety of colors we can see, much like in the photo above. But most of all I think about God’s everlasting peace and love. There is nothing quite like it and it is beyond our wildest imagination.

The past few months have been heart-wrenching and difficult for me. I had to set my daughter free to live in her choices. This is not easy for mothers to do, especially when all of our blood, sweat and tears have gone into making life as best as it can be for our children. We are nurturers and providers. We love selflessly and devote our energy to ensuring our children grow up to be responsible adults, but sometimes it’s just not enough. Sometimes our children just need to learn the awful lessons on their own while we stand back and watch.

I can’t tell you how many times God has stood back and let me learn the hard way. I was the rebellious kid. The one who, even though I never started a fight, wasn’t afraid to finish it. I was expelled from high school my freshman year and had to really put my best foot forward my senior year so I could graduate with my class. In my early twenties I was the party girl. I would selfishly put my fun time ahead of my family, including my two older kids. They despised me for a long time because of it.

Even though I had to learn the hard way, I wouldn’t do things differently. I am who I am because of the lessons I had to go through. I wasn’t really able to see that until I became a christian. If you were to compare the Joleen from 20 years ago to who I am today you wouldn’t recognize me. I’m grateful for that and I know my daughter will be grateful one day too.

Part of God’s glory is His grace. It’s something we don’t deserve, but He gives it freely anyway. All of the rebellious things I did broke God’s heart, but with my repentance, He offered me forgiveness and I accepted it wholeheartedly. The day I really understood the cost of what Jesus did for me, is the day it became harder for me to sin. I can honestly say that I can hear God’s voice much better now that I’m living a much holier life.

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High…” Where is the Secret place and how do we dwell there? God tell us in Deuteronomy 29:29 that the secret things belong to Him, but the things which He reveals to us belong to us. Once we give our lives to Him, He starts revealing things to us little by little as we continue on the path to Heaven. We can’t really understand the scriptures until we receive the Holy Spirit and we can’t receive the Holy Spirit until He breathes the Spirit into us at our conversion. When we ask, He reveals and He will give us more if we’re responsible with what He gives to us (Luke 12:48). Dwelling in His secret place means relying on His direction, His comfort, His grace, and His provisions that He so freely gives.

“Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” What a glorious place to be, right?! Being under the shadow of the Almighty means we are in God’s presence. As christians, this is where we should always desire to be. We have to be careful because if we sin, we can’t be in the presence of God. Sin can’t live where God lives. But, if we dwell in the secret place of the Most High, we are in God’s presence and he is pleased with us.

In the christian life, our hardships can either get the best of us, or they can be filled with the best of God. We can either be at peace under the shadow of a loving Father or we can learn the tough lesson the hardest way. It’s our choice, friend. As for me, I choose peace and grace because that is what my Father wants for me. I know God’s plan for my life because He’s told me. His plan is to prosper me and not to cause me harm (Jer 29:11), so I will rest in that. One day, when God’s ready, I will be in my Heavenly home. Until then, I will abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Blessing, friend.

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