Written on May 4, 2016. By Shari Norvell
Once upon a time I was not the most organized person you would ever meet. In fact, I would generally be the person at a gathering that needed to borrow something, because I most certainly had forgotten something crucial. I still feel like I should apologize to my person once in awhile, for completing a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of girl when you were a “Franklin Planner” kind of guy wasn’t the easiest order to fill. Now, he is a lot less planned and I forget a lot less and it’s worked out pretty nicely in my view!
Today, on an airplane, for just a moment, I’m enjoying the fact that I didn’t forget anything. But what I’m basking in is the truth that I stopped forgetting when I began remembering. And remembrance came in like a breeze clinging to current when I began living in His seasons.
All seasons are His, but I don’t refer to Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Though I love those. Lots. Fall comes in crisp and invites me to yield. Winter’s frost and freeze reminds me that I wait with Him. The rain and shine of Spring implores me to the exploration that everything He ever said is true. Right now. And the bright and bake of Summer tempts me to discover beyond the now and dive into the what is to come.
Yet the seasons within those seasons are the ones that tickle my heart until joy beckons my return to the Seasoner. The seasons, wrapped packages, the paper partially torn so we can’t resist delightedly toppling in through the way made for us. These are the seasons marked by planting and reaping, cross and knee, feast and fast, table and tabernacle. And we are in an amazing one right now.
In the crevice between Pesach (Passover) and Shavout (Pentecost) hangs The Counting of the Omer. The Omer holds fifty days in a tender caress, prompting and prodding us to recount our wander to wonder, our trust unto hope. Our wilderness wild with His presence, woven with His provision.
As my wilderness recount began, I asked Pappa to share with me one aspect I had not yet seen. One I may have discounted in not recalling. He said one word, “shade.”
I thought of Psalm 121:5-6
The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is the shade at your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.
And I thought of the Israelites traveling through a land where clouds are extremely rare and temperatures can exceed 120 degrees. And I thought, I think of their deep need. Of my own.
Shade. ‘Tzel’. The provision of protection. For though we can not live without the sun, He know exactly how much we need. He knows how much wilderness is too much, how long each day and nights exposure should be.
A cloud by day in a land not known for a covering such as that. Could they even deny it was Him? Did they? Do I? Wispy and wonderful hung above them so He could dwell among them. So He could lead and they could follow. So they could arrive together.
As dawn became dusk, the light of the sun invaded the moon, but it’s heat did not. And so, He sent fire by night. A giant pillar of goodness, warming and welcoming. Speaking and stretching. Shade from the cold. Could they respond to such a a magnificent thing? Did they react? Do I? Blaze and beauty stood before them. So He could wait and they could rest. So they could remain forever.
Serendipitous shade was even their armor in battle. Numbers 14:9 tells of Pappa removing the shade of the enemy, disabling their defenses while defending those beneath His shadow.
David didn’t ask to delivered to an armory or bunker. He asked to be brought under the shadow, the shade of His wing. He didn’t ask to be removed from the wilderness of his where. Instead he sought the truth of his need. The pictograph of ‘tsel’ is “to be caught, to desire authority or control.”
The Israelites knew their need was to be overtaken, yet the often fled. David asked to be ordered, organized so his need could fulfilled, even if it meant being out in the wide open, cleated and carried. And I seek to be caught and to stand. Still. Under Him. Within Him. Reflecting my need in the shadow of what is to come. What I can’t see yet.
For if He is for me, providing all I need, even when I am utterly unaware I need it, then what, who could ever be against me? Who but he could ever be victorious in my life? Overwhelmed that His presence is so simple and stellar all at once. Refuge is a choice I make not a chance I take.
And today, on an airplane, wings jutted just outside my window, I think of Jacob who upon awakening from his slumber with Heaven hovering above, no space between, said:
Surely the Lord is in the place, and I did not know it.“ Genesis 28:16
Right now and ever more, I want to know it. That He is here. That I am never without. Because. My invitation is to be within. An endless, infinite, before and beyond invitation. My choice. My yes. My heart.
Begin telling Pappa you know He is there, in your here. That you are aware. Then linger, right there. After you have been overtaken and overwhelmed, journal what that was like. SO you never, ever want to leave His shade. And then thank Him. For becoming man and taking your place, so he could dwell in your every place.