On these hot summer days, it can be difficult to find relief from the heat. Most of us have become so accustomed to A/C that even the short walk from our air-conditioned cars to the air-conditioned grocery store can leave us sweating through our clothes as we melt our way across the asphalt parking lot. When those automatic doors slide open greeting us with a gust of arctic air, we are happy once again.
When we do venture outside on a hot, muggy day and the sun is beating down without a cloud in the sky, it’s not long before we start looking for cover. An umbrella or a tree or even the shaded side of a building can make such a difference, but why? We’re still outside. No mechanical flow of cool air has been introduced. All that has changed is that we’ve found something to block the sun’s powerful rays. We’ve found shade.
For me, I’ve noticed a frequent desire to find shade but not just because it’s been so hot. With the world beating down on us with so much that’s too much, I’ve needed to create breaks for myself. I’ve needed to surround myself with people and thoughts and quiet moments that can block out what might leave me scorched. I’ve needed to sit on my porch without anything in my hands and just watch what’s happening in my front yard.
I know I can’t stay out of the sun forever. I need to venture out and see what’s to be done and who’s to be helped. I am strong enough to stand a little heat, but I can’t let the world overwhelm me so that I’m left with heat stroke. I must apply the sunscreen of the knowledge of what is right, and I must wear the sunglasses that give me a worldview lens which puts everything in proper perspective.
But when I do seek out shade, I’ll look for someone bigger than me who can cast a wide enough shadow to give me relief from those days it just gets too hot. I’ll think about Psalm 91 which reminds me that “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”