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Walk in the shade

Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.

I learned a lesson last month simply by changing my route


by walking in the shade!

I had been having radiotherapy, a seven week course of treatment at the hospital. The medics were trying to try kill off any cancer cells left in my throat following recent surgery to remove some of my cancerous glands and tissues.

While walking to and from treatment I was warned, “Whatever you do, keep your head, face, neck and throat out of the sun”. “Don’t let your skin be exposed to the sun’s rays”. The dangers were explained and so I was obviously very, very careful.

I wore a floppy hat with a wide brim – the kind men wear to keep the sun off them while playing cricket. I also carefully turned the collar of my shirt up to cover my neck. And I asked my wife, Brenda, to gently rub a barrier cream into my skin three times daily. I was serious about keeping the sun off me!

One afternoon, I was feeling a little silly all dressed up like this while everyone else was enjoying the rare English summer sunshine! Suddenly I realised something so obvious I don’t know why I hadn’t seen it before. The western side of the longest street I walked along was in the shade because of the way the sun’s rays were blocked by the rooflines of the houses that side of it. I always walked on the eastern side – don’t ask me why – but I ALWAYS did.

It was as if God said to me, “Colin, it is good that you are being careful, and I think you are being wise protecting yourself. BUT, never forget that the BEST protection is always the protection that I give you myself”.

God applied it to the rest of my life:

“You will need to change some of your bad habits built over several years. Things you always do without thinking. Your usual way.

Only by changing will you enjoy the complete provision I have made for all of your life”.

God clearly challenged me, “Come on, Colin, leave your own ways and walk this world my way”. What does God challenge you about today?

“The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand”, Psalm 121:5. God, who made heaven and earth, can easily look after all of your needs! Do what you can, of course, but always be willing to trust God for what you can’t do for yourself. GOD HIMSELF IS your shade.

August 2009.


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