March 10, 2014

The LORD is your shade

By Quinn Brenneke, a senior public relations major from Fort Wayne, Ind.
THIS WEEK’S THEME: The LORD is your shade
DEVOTIONAL:

I always slept with the closet light on. What my parents told me about saving electricity didn’t matter. For one, I didn’t pay the bills. But more importantly, I was sorely afraid of the dark and couldn’t fall asleep without a nightlight.

Eventually, the nightlight became more annoying than comforting. Now, in the light, sleep doesn’t come easily – it’s in the shade of night that I can finally rest.

This week’s devotional theme is, “The LORD is your shade.”

Jesus said the church is “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14) and King David called God’s word “a light to my path” (Ps. 119). However, this week’s theme explores an opposite idea: God meets us in the shade.

Lent is an opportunity to dwell in the shade of God, before celebrating under the light of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter. During this shaded time, it’s tempting to flip on a nightlight. But in the shade, we also encounter God.

The shade is where God meets us in our suffering. It’s where God feels the pain of racism, violence and oppression – with us. It’s a place where loneliness is outmatched by God’s presence. It’s where Jesus entered our broken world, held our hands and declared that the chains of sin don’t imprison us anymore.

In a shaded place, Jesus looked at us and said, “In me, you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” (John 16:33)

During Lent, we join with God and with each other, asking, “What have we witnessed?” And we see clearly without a nightlight that God has been with us, even in the shade.

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Comments (9)

  1. Thank you for these wise words, Quinn, and for the reminder that God is always with us.

    Betty March 10, 2014 |
  2. Quinn, Thank You for this perspective. – and for your personal touch about the closet light and now resting better in the shade – set the stage nicely for your thoughts, which will help me not to ‘flip on the nightlight’, and just accept the benefit of dwelling in the shade for a time.

    Jim Miller ('53) March 10, 2014 |
  3. Quinn, I am amazed and grateful for your insight, learned from your childhood thru adult experiences, into this theme. It gave me a new perspective of shade and God’s presence in my darkest times. Thanks for taking the time in your busy student schedule to prepare a meditation! (Goshen grad’s parent)

    Susan Langeland March 10, 2014 |
  4. Quinn, yours is a wonderful reminder that whole ecosystems live in the shade of a tree or on the backside of a mountain or at night. Thanks be to God!

    Jim Brenneman, GC President March 10, 2014 |
  5. This really spoke to me today! Thanks, Quinn.

    Dolores March 10, 2014 |
  6. What wonderful insights Quinn. Thank you for the reminder that God is Lord of the light and the shade.

    Leanna Teodosio March 10, 2014 |
  7. I too was afraid of the dark as a child and well into adulthood, until a very special prayer partner gave me a little plastic cross that glowed in the dark! Now I no longer fear the dark, which is really shade, because God is there as well! Thank you, Quinn

    phyllis March 11, 2014 |
  8. Quinn, I am reading this on the other side of the world, in Kathmandu, and it really spoke to me. Here I am feeling vulnerable, and lonely for the familiar and my family and friends. And here even in the day, we face darkness as the electricity is on for only on a few hours each day and night. So it is good to read that in God I find my comfort and He gives me peace…In two days I must make a trip on a micro to the west of the country, and I am afraid, so I will remember this devotional.

    Elisabeth Beels March 11, 2014 |
  9. I am at the hospital waiting for test results for my 94 year old father in law. Your devotion gave me courage and faith. Jesus has conquered this too!

    joAnne March 13, 2014 |