September 11, 2009
Shelter from the Storms
"Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us." Psalms 62:8 (NAS)
The thunder and lightning of a powerful storm rattled our house last night. As rain slashed against the windows and lightning lit up the dark sky, I woke up just long enough to make room for my youngest son and yellow lab to join me and my husband in bed. I remember thinking with surprise that I didn't even know it was going to storm.
What a picture of my life lately. It's been a year of unexpected rain. Some just drizzles, but others, like the storm hitting me most recently, have rattled windows with wave after wave of thunder and bursts of lightning.
What about you? Is there stormy weather in your life right now? Where are you finding shelter from the storms?
My friends and family have been a shelter for me this year, just like my family was last night as we all huddled together in bed. They've encouraged and supported me. And most importantly, they've pointed me to the strongest shelter from the storms, my Heavenly Father.
As I've turned to Scripture this week, I'm amazed at the number of times it reminds us God is our shelter. God knows that we will encounter hard times and His Word reminds us that the strongest and safest shelter is God Himself.
As always we have a choice: get drenched in the rain or seek shelter. You see, the storms of life can cause us to run toward God, but just as easily they can cause us to turn away. A whole range of emotions can leave us standing in the rain to get drenched: bitterness, anger, confusion, helplessness, or hopelessness. If you can relate to these emotions, you might feel badly for having these emotions, but don't let these feelings keep you from God.
Read the Psalms and you'll see that God can handle every emotion. Negative emotions are not a reason to turn away from God. They're the very reason to turn to Him, desperately wanting the kind of faith and strength only God can provide.
Keep turning to God, continue to tell Him in prayer how you feel, and leave your emotions with Him. As you do, you'll start to feel His nearness, His hope, His promise, and His comfort. If you find yourself returning to feelings of fear or hopelessness, just go back to God. Be honest in your prayers. Acknowledge that you're having a hard time, but that you want to trust Him in your circumstances. Know that He loves you and will consistently and constantly be your shelter from the storms.
Dear Lord, "Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings" (Psalm 61:1-4, NAS). In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Join us for more Everyday Life encouragement
What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood
An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears by Micca Campbell
Fear Less, message on CD by Lysa TerKeurst
Find comfort as you read Psalm 61, 62 and 91 today. Write out and display in a prominent place in your house a particular verse that helps you keep your eyes on God.
Have you been turning away from God? Can you turn back to Him today? He is waiting for you with open arms and a loving heart. He loves you and wants to be your strength and comfort in the storm you're facing.
2 Chronicles 20:12, "… For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." (NAS)
Psalm 91:1-2, "Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him." (NLT)
© 2009 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 11 September 2009.