In the tempestuous, stormy moments of our lives, we often focus so intently on finding a way of escape or rescue that we altogether forget about the most reliable and true source of shelter and refuge.
Last night, sleep seemed to totally elude me. I had been facing a low moment of discouragement, doubt, and frustration. I was restless in both mind and body. It was all I could do to prevent my thoughts from going places they ought not to go.
It was raining fairly hard outside. Although in the physical I was sheltered, warm, and dry inside the house, my spirit felt the exact opposite. The rain outside seemed to pour in unison with the ongoing difficulties I’ve been facing for a while. Inside, I felt exposed and unprotected from the cold winds, soaked to the bone and drenched by the rain that seemed like it would never stop.
I was quickly losing my grip on hope, and my faith was flickering low. I told God that I wanted with all my heart to hang on and be faithful, but that this would only be possible with His help. Then I lay in silence for a moment.
The answer I received was rather unexpected. I was guided to listen to the song “Hiding Place,” by Steven Curtis Chapman.1
I put on the song, not expecting much. After all, I knew it like the back of my hand. Yet, each word seemed to hit the spot like a cup of hot coffee on a cold, rainy day, or like the sensation one feels when coming in from the winter cold to a warm place.
I’m not asking You to take away my troubles, Lord.
’Cause it’s through the stormy weather I learn to trust You more.
But I thank You for the promise that I have come to know.
Your unfailing love surrounds me when I need it most.
You’re my hiding place,
Safe in Your embrace,
I’m protected from the storm that rages.
When the waters rise,
And we run to hide,
Lord, in You we find our hiding place.
As the song continued to play, God spoke to me. Are you taking shelter in My promises and My love for you? Or are you too busy looking and hoping for a way of escape from all this?
I had clearly been doing the latter. I had been hoping and praying to be rescued from this situation, instead of using God’s Word and love for me as the shelter it was meant to be. No wonder I felt so exposed and vulnerable.
It’s not that I can’t or won’t bring you out of this situation somehow,He continued to speak to my heart. But meanwhile, let Me be the refuge and shelter I promised to be for you until the storm runs its course.
With these words came flooding back a series of promises I have known for as long as I can remember:
“God is our refuge and strength, a help always near in times of great trouble. That’s why we won’t be afraid when the world falls apart, when the mountains crumble into the center of the sea, when its waters roar and rage, when the mountains shake because of its surging waves.”2
“I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”3
“The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.”4
None of these promises speak of “rescue” from trouble, although God can and does rescue us according to His will. More important, He is our “refuge” as we go through trials and difficulties. Just as running into a building during a storm does not cause the storm to cease; rather, it provides shelter until the storm runs its course.
With this renewed perspective on storms, I can now fully trust and rest in Jesus to be my refuge and shelter for as long as the storm lasts, leaving the final outcome in His hands.
The Savior of My Today
Dear Jesus, sometimes I feel like the storms of life are overwhelming me, yet You promise I can find refuge in You. Help me to grow in faith, secure in the knowledge that there is never a moment when I am not overshadowed by Your love. Please forgive my shortcomings, enter my heart, and be with me always.
I am with you always, even to the end of the age.—Jesus, Matthew 28:20
Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think you’ve lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.—Asha Tyson
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.—1 Peter 1:7 NLT