The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand (Psalms 121:5).
It was a holiday and we decided to go to the beach with our kids. I chose to read a book as I watched my kids splash around in the water. But, it was hot, and reading the book was a struggle as I was sweating profusely. The glaring sun’s rays pushed me toward any shade I could find. The little bits I found made the heat less exhausting and more bearable. Right then, I made a mental note: wear a hat and carry your umbrella next time!
The hurting soul
The writer of Psalm 102 was looking for shade as well. When we read the first 11 verses, we see that the psalmist longs for and wants a reprieve from the scorching heat of pain (vv. 3), discouragement (vv. 4), unrest (vv. 7), and toxic relationships (vv. 8). He felt abandoned by God (vv. 10) — forgotten, crushed, and broken in spirit and body.
But he held onto the provisions of the eternal and compassionate God. “But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; you are remembered throughout all generations. You will arise and have pity on Zion; it is the time to favour her; the appointed time has come” (Psalms 102:12-13).
After pouring out his heart, we see a major shift in [the psalmist’s] focus — from his challenges to his Creator
The shift in focus
Psalm 102 is a cry for help from a hurting human. The author is in agony. After pouring out his heart, we see a major shift in his focus — from his challenges to his Creator.
“Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away, but you are the same, and your years have no end. The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you” (Psalms 102:25-28).
Take note of this, dear reader! When shade is scarce and pockets of respite are hard to come by, we can find comfort and strength knowing that our unchanging God is active, responsive, and merciful at all times. “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night” (Psalms 121:5-6).
We can rest in the promise that the One who laid the foundations of the earth in the beginning (vv. 25), remains the same (v27), and will one day make all things new for those who know and love Him.
Prayer: Our merciful heavenly Father, compassionate Lord, thank You for being our Shade in every valley and desert. You hear us; you respond to us when we feel forgotten, discouraged or abandoned. Cause this truth to renew our hearts and hope. In Lord Jesus’ precious Name, amen.
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