Have you ever thanked God for shade? Living in Colorado, where one-hundred degree temperatures are rare, I think I’ve always taken clouds and shade for granted. Sure, they’re nice on a hot day, but they’ve never moved my heart to gratitude. Have you ever asked God to provide shade?
We recently studied 1 Corinthians 10. And our pastor covered two whopping verses before God stopped me. Our pastor reminded us how hot the Middle Eastern desert can be . . . and the Israelites of old traveled in it for forty years. Paul reminds his readers that God “baptized the Israelites into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”
Walking In the Desert
My mind immediately traveled to the reality of how hot the desert is in summer. Eight Las Vegas summers acquainted me with serious heat. The Israelites must have been grateful for the cloud cover.
God supplied food to eat, and water to drink. He knew their most basic needs, and He met them completely. And, God is still in the providing business.
Most of us aren’t walking through physical deserts, but I’d bet I’m not the only one walking through emotional and spiritual deserts. They’re hot, uncomfortable, energy-sapping, and wearying.
On those days when the sun of adversity beats down, stealing our strength, there is One who will be our shade.
I’m in a time when family situations leave me feeling overwhelmed. With two teenaged boy-men who have made an art form of making Mom feel invisible, the harsh heat of lies sometimes leaves me feeling barren.
But God . . . He is my shade, the cloud that covers me, that offers rest. I choose to trust God to provide those things that fill the aches in my heart.
When unexpected circumstances are forced into our days and the stress pulses inside, we must remember that God is the shade on our right hand.
When the news touts headlines that ignite fear, God is the One who can douse those flames.
How God Provides
Our Father provides for our every need. Just as He supplied manna for the Israelites in the hot Middle Eastern desert, He offers us His spiritual food. In the world we’re living in, we hunger for God’s word to fill us, to calm us, to enable us focus on Him.
When we’re dry and wilted from the heat of trying situations, Jesus is the water that refreshes us. When we drink of His presence and of His faithfulness, we will be refreshed and ready to press into whatever is going on in our lives.
When struggles and trials blaze in our lives, our Father is the cloud that covers us with His respite, His protection, and His love. Our Father longs to provide for us just as He did the Israelites.When struggles and trials blaze in our lives, our Father is the cloud that covers us with His respite, His protection, and His love #provision #faith Click To Tweet
Our Role in God’s Provision
But God doesn’t want us to take Him for granted. He yearns for our hearts to draw near to Him, to be humble before Him, to worship Him. He is good to us, and I believe He desires that we see His fingerprints in our days. He wants us to experience His love.
We can’t fully experience His love if we’re trying to provide our own shade, our own spiritual food, and our own refreshing water. Sure, we may find lesser things that satisfy for a time, but anything we come up with for ourselves always leaves us empty in the end.
When we look to God to provide everything for us, we can know His shade in our hard desert-walking days. We can’t always avoid the deserts in our lives, but we always have One to turn to for strength and rest in the middle of the journey.
As I walk through the heat of my own desert, I’m thankful God provides shade which covers me when friends pray. His shade rests on me on my morning walks when the beauty of His sunrise leads my heart to worship. And in the nights when I can fall asleep, I’m confident even of His provision of sleep.
What about you? Where do you find shade in your life deserts? What has God’s shade looked like in your life?
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I love it how God provides shade. He did just that for us last night. We got caught in your Colorado storm as we were passing through from Kansas to Utah. He provided safety and a place to stay when driving became unsafe. I hope you join us at Grace & Truth link-up when you can. Praying for you. It sounds like you are walking through some difficulties.
Maree, I’m so sorry you had to drive through that storm!! It was a doozy, for sure. I’m so glad you had a place to stay. Thank you for your prayers. It seems like there are seasons where there are lots of things to navigate all at the same time. 🙂 I’m looking forward to linking up with Grace and Truth.
Such a beautiful post, Jeanne! I love the picture of God being my shade and rest. So healing when travelling through the desert, and I’ve been through a few. I’m blessed to have visited here today from Grace & Truth link up!
Donna, please forgive my delayed response. I’m so glad you visited! I am so thankful our Father is our shade in the desert places. I hope you have a great week!
I loved this, Jeanne, every word. What a beautiful picture of God in our lives … lovingly providing shade in the deserts that often come upon us suddenly and stretch for miles without end. Sending hugs your way, my friend.
Hey sweet friend, I’m so glad these words spoke to you. I’m so thankful our Father is our shade for every step on our path, no matter where it leads. Thank you for your hugs and encouragement! Sending some right back at you!
A great picture of God as our cloud to provide all that we need, as He did for the Israelites! Thanks, Jeanne for that reminder and the beautiful photos! Praying those teens of yours will go easy on their Momma!
Thank you, Kathy. I’m so thankful that God provides for all of our needs. Thanks for those prayers. Keep ’em coming. 😉
Beautiful pictures and post. I am definitely in a season of learning to trust Him – especially with my kids.
Ahhh, Lauren. I’ve discovered that mothering my kids constantly has me in learning seasons. Just when I figure out one aspect of parenting them, something else pops up. And these teen years? Whew-howdy. I could go on and on. 🙂 You’re right. Trusting the Lord with their hearts and ours is the best thing we can do.
“But God doesn’t want us to take Him for granted. He yearns for our hearts to draw near to Him, to be humble before Him, to worship Him. He is good to us, and I believe He desires that we see His fingerprints in our days. He wants us to experience His love.”
I love this reminder, especially as I’m moving into my day. He is so good. All the time.
You’re right, Lisa. Our God is good. All the time. That’s a truth we can rely on, especially when we walk through desert seasons!
so grateful for the Shade. He is so faithful to cover those willing to draw near. Thank you for this reminder and the gorgeous images!
Mariel, you’re right. He will cover those who draw near, thank goodness! I’m so thankful for the Lord’s shade too! Thanks so much for stopping by!
He is our Shade and the Lifter of our heads! Beautiful photos and post.
Amen to that, Susan! I can’t imagine walking through this life without Him!
How wonderful that you have taken over the “Tell His Story” link up, Jeanne. I will be sure to link a post up in the future. We have been visiting my son and his family in Colorado for the past week, helping out with some virtual schooling while busy parents get some work done. I love the desert. It does make you appreciate shade. I love the analogy of God to shade – cool, refreshing, a respite from the daily heat of living such busy lives. Beautiful post and photos!
Thanks, Laurie! You’ve been in Colorado with some beautiful weather. Of course, if you’re still here by Saturday, you’ll see the other side of autumn. 😉 The desert has its own kind of beauty, doesn’t it? Thank you so much for stopping by!
So good to connect with you again here in your beautiful new online home, Jeanne!
Ahhh, Linda. It’s so good to have you visiting again!
Jeanne, my son is hiking now at the Grand Canyon. He said it was 100 degree temperatures with no water on one stretch they took. The got up at 3 A.M. the next day to begin their hike with head lamps. The importance of shade has new meaning. Had never thought of God being my cloud to shade me. Thanks.
Wow, Deb! 100 degrees even at this time of year. But, I’m sure your son will come home with some amazing memories. If I’m being honest, I hadn’t really considered God as my shade until we studied that passage in 1 Corinthians. I love when God reveals new aspects of Himself to us.
This summer was a hot and dry one here which gave me a new appreciation for shade! How grateful I am for the provision and shade of our Lord in the “heat” of the day. Your words brought to mind Psalm 121:5: “The Lord Himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade” (NLT).
Joanne, our autumn has been unusually warm too. I’m so thankful God provides physical shade and shade in many other forms, as well. I really love that verse from Psalm 121. 🙂
“He is my shade, the cloud that covers me, that offers rest.” Amen and very well said! Thank you for these thoughts.
Wishing you a happy and restful Tuesday!
Jed, thanks so much for stopping by!
This is great encouragement, Jeanne, and I love the beautiful photos. It is so comforting to know that, even in the hard times, God walks with us, providing exactly what we need. As you say, we can so often be tempted to rely on ourselves and find our own shade, but true peace and protection is only found in him.
I agree, Lesley. There’s great comfort in knowing God will provide exactly what we need when we need it. May we continue to choose to lean into Him as our shade and our Provider.
Jeanne, love this thought: “We can’t fully experience His love if we’re trying to provide our own shade, our own spiritual food, and our own refreshing water. Sure, we may find lesser things that satisfy for a time, but anything we come up with for ourselves always leaves us empty in the end.”
The Lord is teaching me how much He wants to protect me and provide for me until my cup overflows. And to overcome my emptiness with earth’s substitutes and human effort with His supernatural fullness.
Karen, there are seasons when we should be like ants and work. But there are also seasons when God wants us to rest under His shade so He can do what He does best: be love in our lives. I love the picture of God protecting us and providing until our cups overflow. He is an extravagant, abundant Father, isn’t He?
It sure can be wearisome too, when we try to make our own shade! Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I am being provided for, yet you also remind us that we need to look up and praise all that is He has created-and it is good!
Truth, Lynn! I’ve been the one who tries to provide for all my needs, shade, food, water . . . and I always end up worn out. I love your reminder that, no matter what we face, our God is good, even in the hardest situations.
The worst of days are coming,
there is no place to hide,
and it’s no time for running,
so saddle up and ride
into the gaping jaws of death,
and straight on into hell,
and though the sulphur steals your breath,
you’ve learned your lessons well
and know that you will be sustained
though the final fight is here,
and at the end, you will remain,
in light both cool and clear
to wear a shining golden crown
that God made for your very own.
Andrew, what a victorious poem! We all face seasons where we can’t run or escape our circumstances. But God . . . He’s with us, covering us, strengthening us for the battles, for the struggles. He is our sustainer. I loved your words here today!
Amen! I’ve lived n the desert for about half of my adult life, and I can attest to the necessity and longing for shade. I was just thinking the other day about what a difference the pillar of cloud must have made in the lives of the Israelites. I think all too often we miss the shade in our lives—a cloud on our horizon gives us a case of anxiety instead of a case of drawing closer to God. In all the major traumatic events in my life, God has been with me—covering me with his shade. There’s año need for me to feel anxious about anything.
Anita, I think you’re right. We miss the shade God offers in our lives, especially when we dealing with anxiety. Our Father truly is faithful, with us in every circumstance, as close as our next breath. You’re right. He does cover us with His shade, which is why we don’t need to be anxious.
I don’t know why I tend to panic and fret, as if He doesn’t know my need or can’t meet it. He not only provides water to drink, but shade from the heat.
Amy Carmichael write a beautiful poem out of the heat of India:
I Follow Thee
Shadow and coolness, Lord,
Art Thou to me;
Cloud of my soul, lead on,
I follow Thee.
What though the hot winds blow,
Fierce heat beats up below?
Fountains of water flow—
Praise, praise to Thee.
Clearness and glory, Lord,
Art Thou to me;
Light of my soul, lead on,
I follow Thee.
All through the moonless night,
Making its darkness bright,
Thou art my Heavenly Light—
Praise, praise to Thee.
Shadow and shine art Thou,
Dear Lord, to me;
Pillar of cloud and fire,
I follow Thee.
What though the way is long,
In Thee my heart is strong,
Thou are my joy, my song—
Praise, praise to Thee.
Barbara, this is gorgeous. I wonder if Amy sang this poem to the Lord?
Barbara, the poem is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it!
Barb, what a beautiful poem. And knowing Amy Carmichael wrote it in the heat of India adds more meaning to it. I sometimes still have to stop myself from worrying and panicking too. It’s an ingrained response. The good thing is, we can change that, with God’s help, right?
“On those days when the sun of adversity beats down, stealing our strength, there is One who will be our shade” – I love this, so encouraging. I lived in West Africa until my early teens, so I know all about intense heat and gratitude for the shade of cloud cover. When “the stress pulses inside, we must remember that God is the shade on our right hand” – Amen. Thanks for this reminder, Jeanne x
Wemi, I can only imagine how intense the heat was in West Africa! I’m so thankful the Lord is our shade in every season of life we’re in. Thanks so much for stopping by!
Oh yes, here in Australia we appreciate Summer shade in our very hot summers where temperatures can reach over 55°C+ (133°F) in the shade!
I often think God’s love & care is shading under His wings in the summer heat of life too Jeanne.
My post for this week is ‘Looking Beyond’
WOW, Jennifer. I had no idea it gets that hot in Australia! The image of being under the shade of God’s wings in the summer heat of life is beautiful. Thank you for sharing that!
You’re most welcome 😀
Amen. He is covering us with His protection.
He is our shield and our shade–Yes! Let’s remember to come in from the scorching heat of our circumstances.
And I’m so, so thankful for that, Melissa!