Under the Shadow of the Almighty

By Jim Allen

This is one of those times when my mind is blank and nothing is flowing onto the page. What you are about to read is not preplanned, contrived, or borrowed. It's strange to type away not knowing what the next sentence will be or where it will lead. But, that's kind of the way faith works. We step out in faith by writing one sentence believing another will follow. And, it does.

Life is like that. Sometimes we just go through the day not knowing where the next step will lead. But wherever it leads is okay because Psalm 91.1 says, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

I like this verse because it sounds safe. It sounds strong, providing a sense of fortification from all of the unknowns in the world. Abiding under the shadow tells me God is nearby and big enough to cover every believer with His protection. God is like that, watching over our comings and goings (Psalm 121:8).

Verse 2 says, "I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.'" A refuge is a place to hide and a fortress is a stronghold, an impenetrable structure. The Bible often uses words like "refuge and fortress" to describe God as an impenetrable dwelling place, a safe place to be. Nothing can get through! We are safe.

I like the image. It's a strong image. It's a true image. It reminds me of a horrible auto accident several years ago. My daughter was, at the time, an archelogy student at the University of Minnesota. While driving one winter morning she lost control on an icy patch and slid sideways into oncoming traffic. According to two female witnesses in a car behind her, the accident looked like an explosion when the vehicles collided. Pieces and parts flew everywhere. The word devastation would be an understatement.

Stopping to help, the two young ladies ran to my daughter's car believing they had witnessed the worst possible outcome. No one could survive this carnage, they thought. When they got to the wreck they saw the driver's sidedoor open and my daughter step out. Surprised, one young lady shrieked, "Are you okay?" My daughter, shaken from the ordeal said, "I'm fine." "Are you sure...look at your car," gasping in unbelief expecting no one to survive.

Mildly reassured, all three went to the other vehicle to help. It was equally mangled. Inside were two elderly people, both injured. But others had already gathered around to assist until the ambulances arrived. My daughter then looked inside her car and saw that the passenger door had been crushed inward over the center counsel.

It was becoming apparent to everyone her survival was unexpected, perhaps even a miracle. Had some impenetrable force protected her from the worst possible outcome?

She and the two injured elderly adults were taken to the hospital. She was examined and released without injury. No bruises and no scratches. Of course, we were notified and thankful she was okay; and, went to see her right away.

In a discussion about the accident I asked what she remembered about the accident. She said, "I remember losing control and I knew it was going to be bad. I prayed and felt something like a protective cocoon wrap around me, and that's all I remember."

I had no words but knew in my heart God played a pivotal role in this incredible story of protection; and my daughter knew it as well. We all did. We, the family, are ceaselessly thankful to God for saving her life (Psalm 91:11).

There are many stories like this one about people surviving against incredible odds. My daughter's accident was one of them. Some would say it was just pure luck. But then, how do you explain the cocoon of protection she felt? How do you explain God's promise of protection in Psalm 91?

We cannot see what goes on in heaven or read the mind of God to know His will for each one of us. What we do know is all things take place under the shadow of His might. Luck plays no part in our lives when God gets involved"
"When a person rolls the dice to play a board game, God may sometimes cause the dice to land a certain way, but more often than not in such inconsequential matters, He may allow the dice to land as His laws of nature would determine..." (Source)
In this particular true story, I believe God nudged the dice ever so slightly to land on the winning number. For the believer, luck is never part of the game in life. We breathe and live and move in the presence of an awesome God. He is able and willing to protect all under His gaze. We cannot begin to fathom His power and holy resolve to keep all who trust in Him, including those for whom we pray.

In closing, I began this article not knowing the outcome. But, here it is...a true story about a special believer who survived all odds by the will of God (Psalm 115:3). Not by luck or by her will did she survive, but by God's sovereign decree she is here today. And so are we.

So when we step out in faith and write one sentence believing another will follow, it seems to work. Life is like that. Sometimes we don't know what will follow, but the first step always leads to a second and then another and another until the end is known.

Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring or how many steps remain. But, that's okay because that next step for the believer will one day be the grandest step of all, into glory forevermore (John 5:24).

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Image Credit: Emily Boyd; "Car crash – 3 April 09 (7)"; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | God-Father

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Published 3-21-16