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As a fair-skinned freckle-faced red-headed kid, I thought it totally unfair that other kids could go swimming and enjoy the sun all day without ill effects. They tanned nicely. Not this kid. I sunburned easily. I sunburned through a t-shirt. The sun burned me on cloudy days. I absolutely hated turning pink. Also, the sun created more freckles – another consequence not appreciated by me. The reflection of the sun’s rays off the moon at night…didn’t hurt me a bit (had ya goin’ for a moment didn’t I?).

At that time we didn’t have sunblock, we had sun tan lotion. It was the only hope we had not to get burned. Unless, of course, we stayed out of the sun. But what kid wanted to stay in the shade while the other kids played?

Now, as an adult, shade is pretty much appreciated. The New Mexico sun seems much more intense. Maybe because of the altitude (a mile high). People wear protective clothing. We drive by parks and see people sitting in the shade. I appreciate a shady spot in the heat of the day.

Jonah appreciated some shade, too. Evidently, the shelter he made didn’t do the job. He still suffered with the negative aspects of exposure to the sun. He was glad for the shade.

Sometimes I forget the goodness of God leads us to repentance (Romans2:4  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?). God’s blessings can be convicting when He reminds me that I don’t deserve them.

“And the LORD God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief. So Jonah was exceeding glad of the gourd.” Jonah 4:6.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff