“The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand” (Psalm 121:5, NIV).
Can you see it? When I envision resting in God’s shade, I see a prolific oak tree with a canopy of gnarled branches heavy with lush, green leaves giving relief from the midday sun. I imagine myself luxuriating beneath its protection, perhaps stretched out on a checkered blanket partaking of a charcuterie picnic…
However, when shade is spoken of in Old Testament times, the setting is a scorching desert and it seems to be referring to a bristly broom tree rather than an extravagant oak. In fact, a broom tree is a somewhat scraggly shrub and provides just enough shade for one person. Definitely not a picnic blanket!
This shade that God gives us is like the broom tree shade. It’s ‘just enough’. Just enough to give us the protection and relief and rest we need for the moment yet still encouraging us to keep walking through the desert. Trusting His next broom tree will be a little farther ahead and that, once again, we can fully rely on Him for shade.
“Deserts are places of dependence on God.” —Ann Voskamp
God’s shade is always available to us, friend, it’s at our right hand. He walks over scalding sands with us and quenches our thirst with His Living Water.
He longs for us to depend on His grace and guidance.
His provision and protection.
And His soul-satisfying shade.