Dear Precious Friends in Christ,
It has been a couple of months since our last newsletter, which is quite unbelievable to me. Time appears to be spinning faster, even while, the individual days and nights seem to be so long. However, with each passing day, I have known the goodness of God and His sustaining grace. Daily, I am reminded that my joy is found in the Lord of my salvation, instead of the circumstances of life. The Lord’s faithfulness is being manifested in manifold ways to my family, as well as to this ministry and me. Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to testify of the Lord’s faithfulness over these past weeks.
This was the topic for the Ladies Event at The Fellowship Church in Albertville, Al. Lisa Atkins, the wife of Pastor Allen Atkins, had chosen this subject last fall for their women. Over the past few years, many events had to be altered, due to Covid. Therefore, Lisa decided they would invite a guest speaker to come once a quarter in 2022, instead of hosting a weekend conference. Each speaker would be focusing on a specific subject that fell under the umbrella of this phrase; ‘Under the Shadow of His Wings’. My assignment was that of ‘The Family’.
Now, Ed and I have been friends with the Atkins family for over 40 years. In fact, Ed and Allen would travel and minister together on what would be their very 1st Mission trip, all those years ago. This would begin an endearing friendship and partnership in the ministry, along with some very interesting and funny stories of their ventures. They have known of our mountaintop experiences, as well as, many of the valleys of adversities we have faced. For this reason, she assigned to me, ‘The Family’, and how we are to place them at the feet of Jesus, under the Shadow of His wings.
When Lisa contacted me last fall, asking me to pray about being a part of this event, little did I realize that this study would be profoundly more for me, than for others! Yes, once again, I can see the faithfulness of God through this opportunity. He knew what lay ahead for us, and He was faithfully preparing me for this deep valley. As I began to prepare for the upcoming event, I was reminded of some glorious truths about our God. First of all, I remembered what that phrase represented. The Shadow of His wings is a reference to the wings, which spread over the altar within the Holy of Holies. In the Old Testament, these wings shadowed the mercy seat; which was placed atop the ark of God that held His commandments.
I had just begun this study when everything transpired with Ed’s illness. Even though the preparation for this event had to be temporarily set-aside during that time, it was already in my heart and mind. Afterwards, when I was processing what had occurred, I seemed to be drawn more and more to the truths found in Psalm 57.
Now, as I read these words they were describing exactly where I found myself to be. Along with the Psalmist, I too was crying out for Mercy; God’s mercy, to help me in my great hour of need! Similar to David in this Psalm, I needed a deepening work of grace to endure this raging storm. Through this heart-wrenching situation, I was not only being called to live by the truths of His word, it was a time for me to KNOW my God in an ever- deepening and increasing manner.
In this Psalm, we find David seeking refuge from the enemy amidst the shadows of a cave. During this time, this adversity would appear to be hopeless, confusing, and heartbreaking. Yet, David would once again remember that his only refuge would be found in the God of mercy. Upon crying out to God for mercy, he gains confidence in His God and proclaims, “My soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, ... .”
Then, when the Psalmist soul was revitalized to the light of his true refuge, you can sense the tenor of his thoughts and heart change, and a new work of joy, love, and peace taking over. He begins to sing aloud the truths about his God, “I will cry out to God Most High, to God who performs all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me;..... God shall send forth His mercy and His truth. What follows next rings out loud and clear; for David begins to sing praises to His King, while still being in the midst of the adversity.
“Be exalted o God, above the heavens, Let Your glory be above all the earth.”