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The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. Psalm 121:5-6

I overheard a co-worker one day stating her frustration with a coach for her girls volleyball team. Seems mom and daughter were not at all pleased with the amount of playing time that the coach was giving her. The phrase that caught my attention was “So, I went all momma bear on her…”

Anyone who lives in bear country as we do, knows full well what that means. The one thing you don’t want to do is to get between momma and her cubs. Unfortunately, some who have inadvertently done so have lost their lives. Momma bears don’t take kindly to seeing their cubs in danger.

A friend of ours was jogging on a forest trail one day and came around a corner and noticed a large bear on the left side of the trail. Off to the right were a couple cubs. Momma bear let our a roar and stood on her hind feet. Our friend made an about face and made record time home! Don’t get between momma bear and her littles!

That analogy, which may be a little weak in some ways, reminds me of Psalm 121:5-6. This song was sung by pilgrims on their way through the Palestinian wilderness on their way to worship in the Temple in Jerusalem. It’s message gives us hope and encouragement today as it did then and reminds us of the great privilege we have of prayer as we travel our own wilderness.

He watches over us

Like a momma bear our Father watches over us. When we go to him in prayer we can be assured that he has already scouted out the area we are in. He’s aware of dangers we are facing. More aware, in fact, than we are. Just as a bear cub may wander into a situation that would cause harm, we often stray into areas that may cause danger. When you pray, you don’t need to pray to a saint, or to Mary as some do. You can go directly to the Father through Jesus because of his work on the cross.

The Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day

When you go to the Lord in prayer you can also feel the comfort and refreshment of his presence. I’m not a fan of extreme heat. On a recent trip into the western states we encountered temperatures consistently in the low 100’s. We found it very refreshing to find times when we could shelter ourselves from the heat underneath the shade of a few trees. There we could relax, refresh ourselves and get energy to move on. Our Heavenly Father wants to be the shade you need to move on. Physically, heat causes exhaustion, dehydration and other debilitating conditions. The shade our Father gives us protects us from the elements spiritually, just as the shade of a tree refreshes spiritually.

the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

For many years, the moon was thought to attack the mental health of an individual. The word ‘lunacy’ is derived from the word lunar, or moon. This last phrase of this section of the Psalm has special meaning for us. Not only does our Father protect us from the things we see, he knows our mind. He knows how thoughts and attacks from people can hurt our self-esteem, our confidence and our sense of well-being. We can come to him as our safe-place. We can share our feelings with him without fear of judgement or criticism. There will always be those who attack us. There will always be those who shake our hand and greet us warmly while they stab us in the back. There will always be those who we can not trust. So when those things happen remember, we have a Father who passionately waits to hear our hearts. He’s our safe place. Day and Night. In the heat of battle and the quiet of the evening.

No matter where you find yourself in life, your Heavenly Father is there and waiting to hear from you. Your Father is well aware of everything that you struggle with. You can come to him in confidence knowing he has the power to protect you from things seen and things done in secret.

Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you >

Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

Grace Nuggets: Simple reminders of God’s great love for you.

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May 2023
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