and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. (Psalm 63:7)
Now may the God of peace Himself
sanctify you completely.
And may your spirit, soul, and body
be kept sound and blameless
for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He who calls you is faithful,
who also will do it.
Brothers, pray for us also.
(I Thessalonians 5:23-24 HCSB Read it in context here)
I use a prayer of St. Patrick to remind me of the Apostle Paul's prayers for himself and his friends. Today I'm looking at prayers for protection. In these verses from I Thessalonians, Paul prayed that his converts would be separated from evil (sanctified), and kept safe and holy physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Patrick prayed "Christ as a shield, overshadow me." Let's think about being in Christ's shadow for a few moments.: to be in the shadow of someone or something, I must be relatively close to it. If a child is walking close enough to a parent to be in their shadow, they are close enough to be cared for and protected.
In human terms, the word "overshadow" carries negative connotations of being less than the person whose shadow I am under. But as I think of being "overshadowed" by Jesus, this becomes a comforting truth, because I want to put my trust in something greater than I.
A shadow can also be a place of shade, a respite from the burning sun, and a place to be comfortable and refreshed. What a perfect description of being near to Jesus!
...We have run to God for safety. Now His promises should greatly encourage us to take hold of the hope that is right in front of us. This hope is like a firm and steady anchor for our souls...
(Hebrews 6:19-19 CEV)
O Lord my Shield,
You overshadow me with your peace,
covering me with your love and grace.
You are my refuge and my fortress;
I trust in your faithfulness.
I am revisiting the themes of several of my books as I seek to “just be with Jesus." Today's post is adapted from my book Sacred Signposts. I am putting aside lengthy readings for a season, and instead looking for one word or phrase from a scripture portion to carry through the day. Today’s word, for me, is "shield."
photo credit: Doonagore Castle, clear skies via photopin (license)