by Sharon Tubbs
My grandmother’s quilts were sewn together with old cloth scraps. Individually, those scraps were useless. But woven together they had a greater purpose, a story to tell. The back of Big Mama’s quilt was always less detailed than the front tapestry, yet it was just as crucial. It covered up all the raggedy edges. It hid the frayed ends of thread that no one should see.
Like Big Mama’s quilt, we need covering, too. As women, we naturally yearn to be covered. We put on makeup to hide our wrinkles and pimples and scars. We buy clothes that hide our bulges or that give us a little lift here and there. We cover ourselves on the inside, as well. We cover our pain with fake smiles. We cover disappointments and hurts with hardened hearts. We cover the “scraps” of our past—our mistakes, rejections, abuse—with pretense, with hushed mouths, lies, and deceit.
Yet, it’s never enough. Our makeup wears off. Our bulges bulge out. Frustration eventually reveals our true feelings. The security we feel through a job or a flush bank account can fade with a layoff notice. Even the people in our lives designed to provide cover—our husbands and parents—inevitably fall short. As mothers, we want desperately to cover our children, but we’ll make mistakes; we’ll be powerless to shield them from the disappointments and corruption of this world. Constantly, we’re exposed—our children are exposed—and our spirits cry out for someone or something to be the security we long for.
The only guaranteed covering is God, Himself. Only He can protect and cover our lives completely.
In Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve ate from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil,” they became aware of their nakedness and covered themselves with fig leaves. Then, in verse 21, the Bible says: For Adam also and for his wife the Lord God made long coats (tunics) of skins and clothed them. (AMP)
Did you get that? God replaced the flimsy peek-a-boo fig leaf aprons that Adam and Eve made with leather tunics. Despite their disobedience, God had mercy on them and offered a better covering, one more suitable and complete.
He covers us in the same way, no matter our missteps. In Psalm 91, the Bible tells us how to get under the covering of God: Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. –Psalm 91:1
We “dwell” in God through consistent prayer and meditation, through reading the Bible, and making decisions based on His will. Too often, we “visit” God by going to church once a week. Church is good, but dwelling involves a deeper, daily relationship.
According to Psalm 91, the “coverage” benefits for dwellers are quite high. For dwellers, God promises…
To be our refuge and fortress of protection:
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” –v. 2 (NKJV)
To deliver us from troubled situations:
For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. –v. 3 (NLT)
To take away our fears and doubts:
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. –v. 5-6 (NLT)
To separate us from destruction all around us:
A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Only a spectator shall you be (yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High) as you witness the reward of the wicked. –v. 7-8 (AMP)
To empower us for victory and to do His will:
You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet! –v. 13 (NLT)
The simple question is: Whose covering do you seek—God’s or man’s?
As a child, Big Mama’s quilts gave me a warmth that blocked out the winter’s cold and allowed peaceful rest. Today she’s 102 years old, and my family treasures those old quilts. Yet, we know she and my grandfather left something more precious. They taught their children to believe in Jesus Christ. I’m so glad they did, because no man-made quilt—not even one sewn with a grandmother’s love—can compare to God’s handiwork. From His throne in heaven, God can weave a beautiful patchwork of our lives, and He’ll cover us with His mighty wings of protection—if only we’d let Him.
Sharon Tubbs is an inspirational speaker, freelance editor and writer, and a Christian author whose work includes the novel “Living in the Pink,” the self-help book “Milk & Honey: 10 Principles to Embracing Your Promised Land,” and various magazine articles and devotionals. A journalist by trade, she worked as a professional newspaper editor and reporter in the Tampa Bay area for 16 years before recently shifting her focus to self-employment. Sharon is a member of Grace Family Church where she has participated in the Women’s Ministry, leading small groups and teaching God’s Word. As she continually strives to reach her potential in Christ, Sharon’s joy comes from inspiring others to do the same by truly seeking and knowing Him.