The nature trails near my city home meander through the woods. Beneath overarching branches of walnut, cottonwood, ash, and others, I walk in shade, the leafy canopy protecting me from the summer’s heat. Here I enjoy temperatures ten degrees cooler than the sunnier pathways.
As I walk, I listen for broken twigs, alerting me to look for deer. On this day, though, I heard a different sound, one I hadn’t heard before. At first, I couldn’t place it, but then reality dawned: raindrops pattered on the leaves. The summer shower was light and the leafy canopy caught all the rain. I didn’t feel a single drop. The green canopy over my head protected me from both heat and rain.
While I walked, listening to the pattering rain, I thought about God’s protection. He doesn’t always remove the storms, but like a leafy canopy, he deflects the heat of life’s difficult moments and shelters us from life’s storms. Just as I choose to walk in the shade on hot days, I have choices for my life’s path. I can seek God’s refuge when life gets hot or stormy, or I can walk in the open, on my own.
As we struggle with life’s difficulties, whether unemployment, fear of rioting or unequal treatment, health struggles and disease, or marital discord, we have choices. We can walk alone on unprotected paths, or we can choose to walk on the shady path, sheltered by God’s loving protection.
Which path will you choose?
O Lord, keep me walking on your path; keep me trusting in your protection.
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.” Isaiah 25:4 (NIV)