Walking in the heat this time of year can be a challenge. While my husband and I try to get out early before the sun is bearing down on us, there are days when we just don't make it. On those days, we love the shady spots along our route where we have a momentary escape from the Florida sun. As we were walking on a nicely shaded street, a thought occurred to me. God provides shade, protection, and strength all with the palm of His hand. He gives us relief from the sorrows, pain and sickness that come with life just as the trees give us a break from the heat of the day.
In Isaiah 49:14-16, the prophet writes these words of hope to a people who had felt abandoned by God during their exile: "But Zion said, 'The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.' 'Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me." These are great words of comfort when, at times, we do feel all alone or forgotten.
As I read this, I thought about God's hand. There are times in our life where we need protection. In my mind's eye, I could see God's large hand shielding us from the heat of temptation, the snares of the enemy,and the slings and arrows of accusation. So many times we are completely unaware of His intervention on our behalf, but I am confident that one day in heaven we will become aware of just how many times God's hand protected us.
God's hand is also there to lift us up. He has the power and strength to carry us when we are too weary to go on. I will never forget how my own father carried me around after I had polio. I was too weak to walk or move so he would gently lift me and take me to bed. This is how I see God. Even in the poem "Footprints", we see this picture of our Lord who not only walks beside us in life but carries us when we are too exhausted to go on.
I welcome your thoughts and insights. Please feel free to share them here with me.