KENDRA GRAHAM ONLINE BIBLE STUDY – PSALMS

Welcome to Kendra Graham’s Online Bible Study! This is a place where we can come together and share in our journey towards Scriptural truths and spiritual maturity. We pray this will be a safe, respectful, resourceful place to come and discuss God’s Word…to discover What it says…What it means…and What it means to you! Make sure you don’t miss a post, just enter your email in the “Subscribe Via Email” box in the upper left-hand corner of our blog. It’s free and you’ll receive these posts straight into your email inbox.

KENDRA GRAHAM NOTES FROM PSALM 121

“The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand.”  (Psalm 121:5)

 What Does it Say?

The LORD is your keeper, your shade at your right hand

What Does it Mean?

Have you ever felt like you were in a wilderness? Struggling just to make it another step?  I am going to be honest here: This winter and spring have been HARD. We all go through times of struggle and dryness, and it’s easy to feel left alone and beaten down by the elements.

I grew up in the desert of Tucson, Arizona, where the sun beat down relentlessly day after day—in the summer the temperature could rise as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  (It was a dry heat, but 115 degrees is still 115 degrees!)

When you think of the desert, you may envision nothing but sand for miles and miles; yet in reality the desert is not just a vast expanse of sand—there are mountains, cliffs, and even vegetation. One particular plant called the “desert broom tree” can be found in the desert and in other rocky places all throughout the landscape of my old stomping grounds. Not a tall tree by any means, the broom tree is more like an overgrown weed/shrub; and although I can’t really say the plant is beautiful, in the fall it does produce some pretty flowers. The humble broom tree does have its uses, though. It can be food for rabbits, and Native Americans have a history of using its leaves in tea for medicinal purposes.

The roots of a broom tree will grow deep down into the desert floor, finding the most minute bits of moisture which enable it to not only survive the elements, but to become a hearty plant—so hearty, in fact, that it can be a difficult plant to eradicate from the landscape.

As kids, we used the shrub for shade. We would play for hours outside; then, to cool ourselves from the intense heat we would sit under the broom trees and re-hydrate.  Believe it or not, it made a remarkable difference—under that overgrown weed bush the temperature would be 15 degrees cooler. The desert broom brought the welcome relief of shade, and the bushes were plentiful enough for all of us kids to sit underneath our own personal shrub.

Do you recall someone else who else rested under a broom tree in the desert?  In I Kings 19, Elijah—who was running from rotten King Ahab and wicked Queen Jezebel—rested under a broom tree.  God preserved the exhausted prophet’s life in the middle of the wilderness by feeding him and providing for him a shady resting place under the big shrub.

The more I thought about God’s shade and the broom tree, I noticed something I really didn’t like:  The broom tree does not block out all the sun. When I want God to give me shade from the elements that are relentlessly beating down, I want complete and total shade and refreshment. I want a majestic Oak, surround by nicely trimmed and mowed Kentucky bluegrass, at the banks of a clean, refreshing stream of mountain water. (I don’t ask for much, do I?)

When God provides a broom tree in the wilderness, sometimes I find myself complaining—deciding just to die on the desert floor rather than accept the shade He is offering.

The shade God offers is just enough.  Sometimes it may be the big oak; but more often than not, it’s simply a filtered shade that decreases the temperature to a bearable degree. Thinking about the shade at His right hand tells me that God’s shade is never further away than the length to which I can stretch my own right hand. His shade is always close. God takes the brunt of the sun so that I can be in His shade, and yet I still find fault with it.

These past months have been difficult. Sometimes the “strong” (maybe more accurately termed  “stubborn”) person I tend to be strives to keep going forward… whether in rain, snow, wind or sun.  As I read these verses and remember those days of playing in the desert of home, I realize God may be simply telling me to rest awhile. “Come; sit, under this broom tree, Kendra. All the elements that are distressing you will not be taken away; but under here, under My shade, it’s cooler. Here, in My shade, I will give you not only rest but the strength you need.”

What Does it Mean to Me?

When has God been that filtered shade in the middle of the wilderness of life for you?  Was it a friend who dropped by to encourage you? Was it a single ray of sunlight in the middle of a long, cold, dark and dreary winter?  Was it a phone call, a text or an email?  Take time to thank God for sending that broom tree; and if you don’t have eyes to see His shade, will you pray that today you feel that shade your soul is so in need of?

LIVE IT OUT

Stretch out your right hand as far as it will go, and say with passion and belief, “You, oh God are MY shade at my right hand!”  Say this every minute of the day if you have to. Every time you use your right hand today, remember God is your shade…. your broom tree.  Hold to it.

 

13 thoughts on “KENDRA GRAHAM ONLINE BIBLE STUDY – PSALMS”

  1. Dear God our heavenly father. I know there’s a call on my life! Not sure how or where I going to start. Prayers for a difficult decision in my life. Really need to know God’s plan for my life. I loving God’s and his Holy Bible, studying my BIBLE sometimes can be difficult to understand. Thought about going to Christian College in Halifax, NS Canada. Unfortunately I have fibromyalgia and arthritis. Even if didn’t have health problems my financial situation is not good. Please speak to my soul and heart! Thank you In Jesus Christ Name, AMEN!

    1. Darlene,
      Study of the Bible can be confusing and daunting for sure! I love your heart and God will lead and direct you! I don’t know Greek or Hebrew neither did I attend seminary… but this Bible study method my Aunt Aunne taught me revolutionized my devotions…. and the Cove Bible study came from it. The 3 questions method Anne teaches is simple yet deep and profound. I believe she has free studies she can send you as well to help guide you in the process. There is nothing like studying God’s Word! I have included the link for you to go to. I hope this helps! God bless and stay in The Word. http://www.annegrahamlotz.org/learningtohearhisvoice/

  2. This is so right on. I am just finishing radiation for breast cancer and the Lord has been my shade through this journey! Just as you described, Kendra, sometimes it has been a friend bringing me “healthy eggs” from her chickens, or a card I received in the mail that delivered the perfect encouragement for that day, or a text from a sister in Christ (also a cancer survivor) who validated my feelings and lifted me up! God, thank You for being my Keeper, the shade at my right hand!!?

    1. Thank you Carol for sharing! These days are so hard. Last Thursday I was literally shouting whole crying out “You are my shade at my right hand”…. just clinging to that promise. God was so sweet hour by hour to lighten my load…. I think I always want that complete shade… but God’s filtered shade gives us enough to continue to take that next step. God bless you!

  3. I will cling to this verse “The Lord is my shade at my right hand” this week as I go through a third rotator cuff surgery for my right shoulder. This is my time of shade as the Lord heals me. This study so ministered to me today. Thankyou.

    1. Praying for you this morning Barbara. I am so thankful that God truly cares for each of us so much that He provides just enough shade. Praise God for His provision. I pray your healing process goes well. ❤️

  4. This was a truth I needed today. I live in the high sesrt of Wyoming now, where sagebrush is the most visible vegetation, buried under 10 feet of snow half the year. Growing season in summer is like a short springtime in most places. The spiritual climate here is even harsher. The take away for me… The Lord is the shade at my right hand, but the shade is someone I must seek fervently for, and I need to ask him to shade and shelter me. I contacted Lyme disease a few summers ago, probably from sagebrush during a hike. Plenty of literal and figurative sagebrush carrying ticks just waiting to hitch hike onto an unsuspecting traveler. The spiritual climate here may be barran, but he is not just the shade at my right hand, but the spring in my desert. The life giving source of a clean pure drink of himself isreadily available…all I have to do is call out to him. Thanks, Kendra.

    1. Amen Kim! Lyme disease is so difficult and I’m so sorry you have to experience that. May God be that strength you need to make it through the day. Seeking fervently is the key. It truly is. In our weakness…. sometimes I think weakness is the key too…. in our need… He provides. So hard. Bless you

  5. I loved this message! I’ve been to AZ and can relate to the heat, the little bit of shade, and the harshness of the desert. It has felt like a desert wilderness in my soul and spirit lately. Quite frankly, I haven’t been looking for the shade that the Lord provides. I’ve just been trudging along on my own strength. God is so good to give us shade and just the amount that we need.
    Thank you Kendra for your faithfulness to God’s word!

    1. Kay,
      I so identify with you! We trudge along…. we do… but if I would just rest and listen… so HARD for me. God’s provision is truly just enough. ❤️

  6. I love that u use examples from nature- we can learn some spiritual principle from God’s world that He created!
    We serve a creative God!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *