This is the time of year when I really start aching for spring. I hate winter. I hate snow. I hate cold. I’d rather be sweating than be bundled up. It is nice, however, to hang out in the shade during a hot day. The shade can protect you from sunburn and sun stroke.
This psalm says that God is our keeper, and is the “shade on your right hand.” We really don’t know what that means anymore–it’s a metaphor that’s now lost on us. We do know that shade does protect us on hot days, so maybe it has to do with protection.
As you read Psalm 121, you’ll see that this psalm is all about God’s protection. I find it to be especially timely for the times we are in–the economy is in the crapper with no signs of getting better, unemployment continues to go up, a lot of uncertainty. It’s easy to let worry overtake you, especially if you find yourself clocking out with a pink slip or adding up your bills and seeing that they total more than your paycheck. We start thinking that if we just work a little harder, if we just work smarter, or just squeeze out a little more effort, we can dig ourselves out of the hole we’re in. We usually just end up digging a bigger hole.
Psalm 121 is a great reminder that God is always here, even when we feel like He’s on vacation somewhere. He always knows our situation. He “guards [our] going out and [our] going in”–all of our endeavors. Is this a guarantee that everything will always work itself out like we want it to? No. There are times when we need to sweat it out (be it a little or a lot, a short time or a long time). During those times, we’ll do one of two things–be drawn closer to God, or we’ll push ourselves away from Him.
How about you? Is God (as the end of the Psalm says) your keeper and your shade?