I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge
and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Have you ever been through a stormy season of life? Perhaps the loss of a loved one, a wayward child, or deep loneliness in or out of a relationship left you wondering if you’re strong enough to weather the hardship, questioning if it will ever pass.
Growing up on the southeast coast, it was common for an afternoon at the beach to be ruined by a thunderstorm. Within minutes, crowds of sun babies would scatter as dark clouds rolled in, bringing with them winds, thunder, and occasional lightening. Most would scramble into their cars and head home, changing plans accordingly.
I remember one particular day this happened while I was at the beach with my parents. Rather than running to our car to leave, we took shelter in a covered picnic area. The storm unfolded before us as we watched from the bench. Fast-moving clouds danced across the horizon and sheets of rain blew as blankets in the wind. It was quite the scene to behold.
The storms of life can be the same – they pop up out of the blue and ruin our perfectly constructed plans. In those moments, we have a choice to run or stay put and ride it out. And running seems like the logical, safe thing to do. We don’t want to hang around to see how long the dark clouds will linger. We seek shelter in the predictability of changing of our circumstances – something we believe we can control.
The safety of our car that afternoon would have been a fine option, but staying put proved to be worth it. We sat under the shelter for less than 30 minutes and once the rain stopped, the skies cleared and we had the deserted shoreline to ourselves.
By observing the storm from the picnic shelter, we learned that even a fiercely intense storm doesn’t last forever. It didn’t completely ruin our day at the beach. But we wouldn’t have know that if we simply left.
Adversity, hardship, and challenges cultivate a dependency on God – for without storms, we wouldn’t need to seek shelter. Psalm 91:1 says, Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Regardless of how stormy life is, the shelter of the Most High will protect us. We will find rest amidst the deafening claps of thunder and lightening. We can say of the Lord, He is my refuge and fortress; in Him I will place my trust.
Have you ever tried to avoid a storm in your life by running from it? Chances are, many of us have done just that. It never really works out well, though, does it? Rather than running next time, consider riding it out in the shelter of the Almighty. Place your trust in The One who has the ultimate control – The One who plants rainbows among rainclouds.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the imagery of natural storms mimicking the physical and emotional turbulence of life. We know that no matter what we face, You are with us, providing a shelter for us to rest in. May we learn and grow from all You take us through.