It’s summer vacation, and our family loves to spend these days at the beach, just a couple hours from home. Our first morning here this year, I opened my Bible to these fitting and beautiful words:
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
You give them drink from your river of delights.
From this day forward, I think I’ll refer to the Atlantic as–The River of Delights.
Which makes me feel like Anne Shirley, but it’s true. Is there anything so irresistible? Crowds pour onto the sand each day in agreement.
The ocean overwhelms me, with shades of blue as far as the eye can see. Something about standing in front of this vast body of water lulls me home inside. When I’m here, I remember–this power is God, this beauty is His, these constant waves roll in like good gifts He’s always giving.
God serves up drinks, from His river of delights. He lays out a feast, from the abundance of His house.
Other scriptures say:
- He shows us the path to life.
- He fills us with joy and eternal pleasures.
- He blesses us.
- He fills us with good things.
- It is good to be near God.
We could fill pages with similar lines from Scripture.
Is this how you see God?
Sometimes I’m oblivious to His delights. I miss this part of Him. Yet joy and abundance and life are part of who He is and what He offers us.
I wonder how we ever walk through days without this consciousness.
Maybe delight is crowded out by a critical spirit or cynicism or complaint. Maybe we’re focused on what we bring to the table instead of who God is. Maybe we fail to understand the whole picture of Him or we simply forget.
His living and active Word and His stunning creation repeatedly remind us. We feast on the abundance of His house; we drink from His river of delights. But who?
Who enjoys this abundance? People who take refuge in the shadow of His wings.
When I think of taking refuge in God, I assume there’s danger–some kind of storm. A cancer scare, a searing loss, a terrifying fall or some other difficult trial. Many verses speak of taking refuge in God as our shelter from danger or sickness or troubles.
But I find an interesting connection between taking refuge in the shadow of His wings—and joy + delight + abundance.
What does it mean to take refuge under His wings? Some versions call this hiding ourselves in Him or putting our trust in Him. It also means we find JOY in Him. We seek Him above all else, and we see all these earthly pleasures as gifts He sets before us.
Every sunrise, every sunset. Every ocean. Every mountaintop experience. Every encounter with people we love. Every delicious meal. Every ordinary day. Every vacation or adventure.
It all comes from the abundance of His house, another satisfying drink from His river of delights.
In sickness and in health, through storms or sunny days, may we revel in His gifts, with hearts turned toward God.
May we live, deeply grateful as we hide in Him, taking refuge in the shadow of His wings.