Encouragement for Today
“In the Shadow”
Wendy Pope, Director of Development, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
I love the way the Lord chooses to illustrate the promises of His Word in my life. When we open our spiritual eyes and ears, God speaks. He speaks very clearly in ways we can understand. Jesus said in John , "’My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working.’" Since Jesus tells us His Father is always working, we must believe it to be true and expect to see His work all around us.
My daughter is not the most athletic young lady in the world. She excels in academics beyond measure. However, when it comes to outside recreational sports, she struggles for excellence. We recently got a basketball goal. Right away my son, who is almost three years younger than his sister, took to basketball like a fish to water. His success has intimidated my daughter to the point where she stopped trying.
One sunny afternoon, while my son and I were playing ball, my daughter decided to join us. She attempted several times to make a basket but missed. With each attempt she became more frustrated. I demonstrated what I call the "granny shot". My demonstration shot went in the basket. With a strong desire to make the shot, my sweet daughter aligned herself within my shadow. She took a deep breath, aimed and scored. We gave each other a high five and did a victory dance. She was ready to shoot again. She knew exactly where to stand to be successful, in my shadow.
As I stood there, watching her carefully align herself in my shadow again, I heard this sweet voice of my Holy Reminder, "he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Right before my eyes and with a whisper in my ear, God made Himself real to me.
Today's key verse is taken from the Amplified Bible and I love the words "remain stable and fixed." I also love the notion of a “secret place” which suggests that only you and the Father know what’s there. The original Hebrew describes this shelter as a place of protection. The author of this Psalm uses the word “dwells,” which means to inhabit or to be settled. I can almost visualize each of you curling up in this place of secrecy and protection. You go there to find rest, to gain strength and confidence to make the "goal" you are attempting. Bless you today, dear friend. Rest in His perfect shelter of secrecy. Then stand up in faith, align yourself within His shadow, and He will give you success.
My Prayer for Today:
El Shaddai, you are indeed God Almighty. You know your children need a place of rest and protection and have most graciously provided a place in Your shadow. Help me today to make the choice to align myself in Your shadow and not in what the world offers. I ask you to teach me to see with spirit-eyes and hear with spirit-ears all that You are doing around me. May Your name be glorified today in what I say and do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Write down several things you are attempting. Pray and determine if these are things God desires for you to do. On the same piece of paper write today's key verse. Put this verse to memory. Each time you feel anxiety about what you are attempting, recite the verse out loud.
How do I react when my attempts at something have failed?
Do I regularly align myself with El Shaddai?
Where do I attempt to find rest and protection?
Psalm 17:8, "Guard me as the apple of your eye. Hide me in the shadow of your wings." (NLT)
Psalm 36:7, "God, Your faithful love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of Your wings." (HCB)
Psalm 63:7, "Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.” (NIV)
Secrets of the Vine, by Bruce Wilkinson
When You’re Running on Empty, by Cindi McMenamin
Be Your Child’s Greatest Cheerleader, ETC Corner August 2004