Shelter provides respite from pressure. Some pressure comes from outside; from others. Some pressure comes from inside; from unreasonable or unfulfilled expectations of myself.
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)
This is good. A constant reminder of these words keeps the mind and emotions on track and prevents them from running amok to cause destruction.
As we walked along the Highwood River this afternoon I noticed sheltering in various guises.
We were plunging through a thicket of wild roses. Their thorns grabbed our jeans and held tight to hold us back but we pushed them aside and tore away from them. Those woody stems were sheltering live stems, harbouring shoots that will burst into fragrant pink blooms in a few short months.
Beneath our feet, not far underground, last year’s lupine seedlings were sleeping under their protective blanket of snow, ready to sprout in the spring and sprinkle the field with their spikes of pale purple florets.
At the edge of the steep river bank we gazed at the still, glazed water of the Highwood. The water, frozen into immobility on the surface, yet flowing freely below, is providing a sheltered home for rainbow trout, bull trout and pike as they quietly wait out the winter. The ice, a gleaming blue-green sheen, invited us to peer down into the depths but we could not see the creatures hidden below.
Along the cliff ’s edge masses of juniper ground cover peeped out from under the snow. The roots of these plants spread out and firmly grip the soil. In other places, where there were no juniper roots, the dirt, stones and even trees were slipping into the river. Small plants protect river banks and the fate of trees.
On we walked in deep snow, our feet sheltered from cold, wind and wet in our cozy fleece lined boots, through some scrubby wild rose sprigs. Some stems were swollen with brown rose galls, another protection, both for the rose and the wasp larvae.
As God provides shelter for insects, plants and river creatures, He also provides shelter for me. His love and acceptance protect my soul from everlasting damage and bring healing from the harsh elements of human life. Then I am better equipped to handle pressure with truth, wisdom, courage and strength.
by Andrea Kidd