Behind me and before, you hem me in
and rest your hand upon me.
Though we were more than a week into October, humidity peeked that morning as I walked. Oddly, I failed to notice this until a row of trees covered me with shade for several seconds. As I ambled along beneath them, I felt notably cooler. When I walked on into the sun again, I felt the day’s unexpected heat until I reached another row of trees. I plodded along in and out of the heat for several minutes.
Eventually, I found myself beneath a half-block row of trees. I embraced the coolness I found there with deep gratitude. Though this morning’s temperatures would have been considered a blessing in mid-July, I was grateful for the reprieve just the same. I couldn’t help voicing my thanks with a short prayer: “Thank you, Generous God. This feels so good!” God responded with a most consoling thought. “Just as those trees offer you shelter from the heat,” God seemed to say, “I offer you shelter whenever you need it.”
For the rest of that walk and many times since, I’ve thanked God for the shelter that has come during countless difficult episodes in my life and the lives of those around me.
Comforting God, you are with us in our joys and in our sorrows. Please reveal your presence to us often just as tangibly as you did today.
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