Painting: In the Shadow of the Almighty
I’m going to start this post a little differently than normal. I have a confession to make.
Well, here goes…….I, Alexa Lee, struggle with fear.
Okay, let’s step back…..a little anticlimactic, isn’t it?
Perhaps the statement resonated and you felt very understood. But, let’s be honest here, most likely you’re thinking, “Yeah, duh. Of course you struggle with fear, literally every person on the planet does.”
Let’s talk about that. You’re exactly right; my “confession” is about as astounding as if I were to stand on a platform and say : Hey you guys, I just really need to come clean here…..I’m a human. *mic drop*
What we fear and how deeply we fear it varies for every person. But that we fear? That’s universal. It’s a chronic condition that every one of us wrestles with every day of our lives.
A better question than if we fear, or even what we fear, is how do we deal with fear?
That’s where the inspiration for this painting comes from. Particularly, Psalm 91; an absolutely beautiful passage, and one I turn to over and over again in the midst of my fear.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust….He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”
Aaron Keyes wrote a song based on this passage, called Dwell (it’s a masterpiece.) He makes statement after statement from the Psalm, detailing God’s faithfulness, His protection over His people, and His promise to ultimately deliver them. Then, the chorus ends with the statement: “I will not be afraid, I will trust in the Lord.”
To take this to a bit of a personal level, we’re only one month into 2020, and I can already see major changes on the horizon before the year is out. And even though most of these are wonderful, exciting things, I find my heart tempted to anxiety over the unknown of it all. Maybe you’re in the same boat. Or maybe 2020 has already held dreadful tragedy, and terrifying, heartbreaking changes. Everything is always shifting, isn’t it? And none of us really knows what the next 11 months will hold. How, then, do we move forward in peace?
I don’t remember exactly where I heard it (probably a David Platt sermon, to be real), but I recently encountered a phrase that has helped my heart rest in the dark, anxiety-riddled nights. Speaking of the Lord, it states, “His hand is over you and His heart is for you.” I find myself praying this words aloud, asking the Father for grace to believe them when things seem out of control around me.
Friend, if you are trusting in Christ, you are never outside of His hand. Psalm 91 describes the Lord as our shelter and our fortress. These are overwhelming, enveloping words. The blood of Christ is enough to cover over your sin completely. His might is enough to cover over you completely. He is working for your good and His glory, and His love for you has been forever proved.
We are hidden in the shadow of the Almighty.
May our hearts find rest.