Our Shell…

This is one happy snail.
It had been raining for hours, it was warm
and there was copious green stuff to feed upon,
so our snail had climbed high up some fennel stalks
and was having a party with quite a few companions.
It carried, as always, its home on its back,
ready to retreat into if danger loomed;
always “at home,” wherever it wandered.
Yes, there are birds clever enough to prize a juicy meal
out of that strong shell,
but for the most part, it is safe.
I remembered this picture last night as I was thinking about
what it really means “to dwell in the shelter of the Most High.”
Now I’m not suggesting that we, or the Lord,
are in any way like a snail!!
But the concept of any shelled creature carrying its home always,
is the nearest I could get to visualising “dwelling in the Most High,”
save that our shell isn’t brown…… it’s glorious.
When we speak of “going into our shell,” we generally mean
retreating into ourselves, being shy and withdrawn.
It has a slightly negative suggestion,
because it sniffs of lack of freedom.
But what if our shell is God?
Our Home, our Protection, our Comfort, our Strength?
Then, of course, our Shell spells Freedom;
Freedom to go anywhere, do anything, in safety,
because we are inseparable from our Home,
glued in by faith.
Held in His Hands,
Covered by His Blood,
Loved by His Heart,
Watched over by His Eyes,
Spoken over by His Voice,
Coloured by His Radiance.
It’s not a dull shell, then, but Living Truth.
We can wear it wherever we go.
We can retreat into it whenever the enemy lurks
and tries to pick us off…..
but he won’t succeed,
for NOTHING can separate us from the Love of God.
Our only trouble comes when we forget
that we are a snail with a magnificently strong shell,
and believe ourselves to be merely a slug…….
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High,
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

Copyright of all images and text belongs to Claire Gardner

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