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Gathered Into Shadows | Christmas Contest!

by Hillary McFarland

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
       Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
         My God, in Him I will trust.” 


Every now and then a passage of Scripture grips me like no other. And this one is a favorite of mine, Psalm 91, because it describes the utmost comfort and safety one finds while tucked away in the shadows of the Most High.

 ...He shall cover you with His feathers,
         And under His wings you shall take refuge...
...Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
         Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
         Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
         To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
         Lest you dash your foot against a stone...
 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
         I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
         I will be with him in trouble;
         I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
         And show him My salvation.”

Please bear with me as I ramble a bit...

Holy

It burned.
Intrigued.
Burned without burning up.
And he approached it, Moses did, to the sound within it. 
God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” (Ex. 3)
How often do I feel like ground? 
Or sometimes, simply ground up? 
Dirt?
   You are holy ground, He said to me as I lay weeping. You are my temple. Not made with hands, this temple, nor of the will of man, but of God. What acontrast from His bidding to Moses are these new words for us: Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Our God...the God who Sees:
I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. (Ex. 4)
And Moses answered Him with words I've cried many times myself, frail, trembling on my knees before Yahweh...
“O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.”
     So the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?  Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”
The Lord is with the quiet ones.
The soundless ones.
The sightful and the blind.
In the foolish things, the broken things, the weak things...
God is glorified.

I am foolish, broken, and weak. 
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.  But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;  and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are. (1 Cor. 1:26-28)
“Abide in Me,” He says, and much like He said to Moses, “let My words abide in you.”

I've learned that for me, abiding means to “rest with trust.” I rest with trust that He is my defense and shield, that He will fight for me, that I don't have to do anything other than rest with trust until He tells me.
He made darkness His secret place;
         His canopy around Him was dark waters
         And thick clouds of the skies. (Ps. 18)
Ah, yes. The Secret Place of the Most High. And He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Abide. Abide in Me, and let My words abide in you.
He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
His truth ~ His words, abiding.

Will we be gathered? He laments, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!" (Luke 13)

He yearns to draw us into His shadow, close to Him, cradled. And yet many run away, for fear of darkness. Yet El Elyon....He gives us, He gives:
     ...the treasures of darkness
      And hidden riches of secret places,
      That you may know that I, the LORD,
      Who call you by your name,
      Am the God of Israel. (Is. 45:3)
It is here He invites us to dwell ~ but that isn't all.
Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge,
         Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
 No evil shall befall you,
         Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
         To keep you in all your ways.
I find it interesting that in both of the Psalms I love ~ 18 and 91 ~ the writer mentions forms of high places. High places in Scripture are places used for pagan worship.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
         And sets me on my high places. (18)
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
         I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
         I will be with him in trouble;
         I will deliver him and honor him.
 With long life I will satisfy him,
         And show him My salvation.” (91)
This is poignant because we are God's meeting place. His temple. We are the holy of holies ~ His tabernacle. We are holy ground. While before, in the Holy of Holies, there was the lamp, burning continuously, fed by the priests so it would not go out, but now....
...You will light my lamp;
         The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
Yes, our God who is a consuming fire, who burns without burning up, will light my lamp with His Light, the Light of the world. To serve as a reminder of these beautiful truths, I have created a new line of necklaces which will launch sometime in the coming year, but I'm offering a sneak peek for Christmas and an opportunity to win one for your very own!

Contest Guidelines & Fine Print

To win the handmade-by-me “Live Grace” Shadowlight necklace pictured here and a copy of my book, Quivering Daughters ~ Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy, please submit a post to hillary (at) quiveringdaughters (dot) com describing a time when you took solace in the shadow of the Most High and what that meant to you. Include a cover letter telling me why you want to read Quivering Daughters and include your contact information. All submissions become property of Quivering Daughters and may be used as future guest posts at our discretion. Deadline for entry is December 31st, 2010, and depending on the volume of entries, one winner will be selected on or before January 15, 2011. We reserve the right to edit or cancel the contest at any time.

**Edited 12/28/2010
Due to the Christmas holiday, the deadline is extended to January 15th. Results will be announced on or before January 31st.

1 comment:

  1. http://www.hillarymcfarland.com/2011/01/gathered-into-shadows-contest-winner.html

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