“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4 NIV
This post is an update of a previous entry with some “take home” for you who are listening.
The date was set for mid January – the weekend before Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday. Who would have known when we set the date back in October that the weather would be foggy and chilly! After all, it is January! So, because of the weather, we camped in most of the day. And we were so okay with that!
Two of my very dearest friends drove out to our beach home, “Doves Rest,” for our bi-annual visit. Diana’s husband joined her so my Beloved would have a fishing buddy.
We three read, shared, ate, napped, puzzled, and generally hung out together in our socks and comfy clothes. And when we got a bit of cabin fever, we put on more clothes and went out for a walk in the dense fog. We discovered a few others out in it, too.
Each time we’ve come together, it seems that one of us has had some crisis in her life right then, causing us to pray over her and seek the Lord’s counsel.
This time Tammy was in need of some extra hugs and loving. Over the course of the weekend we listened to her struggles about work. We mulled over it. The next afternoon, after much fellowship, pondering, praying privately, and some light-hearted game playing, she came to us and asked what we thought she needed to say to her supervisor in the coming week.
“I’m afraid,” she said, as she was writing in her journal.
“Well, though you are uncomfortable at work right now, that may not be the first thing you say, if at all, to your supervisor,” I responded. “You may want to say, ‘I have some concerns.’”
“I feel I’m at the end of the season here at this location. What are your thoughts regarding transferring to another campus next year,” she said, while writing. “Would that work?” We agreed that would be honest. We continued to talk it over together, Diana also sharing her thoughts and suggestions.
By Sunday afternoon, following worship at our church on the beach, hugs were shared all round.
Then we all headed home.
It was cloudy but not raining. I decided to take the toll road east around downtown. As we were going up over the Houston Ship Channel, Tammy sharing memories of her brother serving as a merchant marine and her grandmother’s visit to Houston, I noticed that she was relaxing more and more. The weekend had indeed refreshed her, despite the weather!
When we got home we donned our PJ’s and sat on the couch with a hot bowl of mac and cheese and watched some forgettable movie on Netflix while my husband went to play his usual round of pool. Following the movie, we each headed to bed. We were done in!
The next morning it was raining and Tammy decided to wait it out before heading back home to Austin. As we finished eating our bacon and eggs, she leaned in to me and said, “I was given this word picture a long time ago, when I was in the muck and mess with an angry parent of one of my students.
There was a cauldron of turmoil that everyone was fussing over. I felt detached from the activity. Then I realized that the Lord had lifted me to higher ground, to a nest in a cliff overlooking the frenzy below. There, in the cleft of the rock, I nestled under His wings. The more I looked to Him, and the nearer I drew to Him, the more I could feel His heartbeat and peace.”
She continued. “All the fiery arrows that were shot out and meant to bring me down were deflected by His wings. I was safe and sheltered and filled with His peace. He urged me to look below. As I did, my heart filled with prayers for this mother. There, close to His heart, focused on Him, my perspective changed.”
She paused, looking directly into my eyes and nearly whispered, “He has me, Dianne. I know that He does.” And I know that He has her. We shall not be afraid!
Tammy later shared this journal entry. Worth sharing with you all today.
When we face various trials or battles, we need to seek that place of rest by choosing to crawl under His wing, in the cleft of the rock, far above our situation. As we focus on Him with thanksgiving and praise of Who He is and who we are in Him, the problem/battle becomes smaller as we are enveloped completely by His presence. Under the shadow of His wing, He is all we can see and our senses are filled with Him as we breathe Him in and put him on: we sense His closeness, nurture, protection, love, and warmth. We sense our smallness and His greatness. We sense His deep love for us. We sense His power and glory. The angst of the moment gives way to His perfect peace as we are pressed close to His chest. The more we enter into that restful peace, the clearer we are able to hear His heartbeat and understand His perspective. As we rest in the rhythm of His heartbeat we are able to look down on our situation, from the cleft of the rock, with His viewpoint.
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 NIV
Psalm 91, Ephesians 6:10-14, Psalm 27:1-6