In the backyard of our home, just before the expansive and lush green lawn, my husband and I have created an inviting and cozy outdoor living area. The large patio is arrayed with comfortable furniture, many beautiful and colorful flowers, lovely decorations and even an outdoor kitchen! Lazy Saturday afternoons often find me in this space getting lost in a book, or captivated by the melodious sounds of jazz music, or simply meditating and spending time with the Lord. Whatever I am doing, this warm escape just outside my back door is a welcoming retreat that affords an awesome opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors without leaving the comfort of home.
As refreshing as this backyard oasis is, and despite its many benefits, there are times when the elements of nature threaten to disturb the solitude and peace it affords. They may come as a menacing thunderstorm whose lightning flashes dance ominously across the horizon, as heavy raindrops that boldly make their descent from the sky to the ground below, or a high, gusty wind that shakes the trees and tosses the leaves, forcing them to scatter hastily. In any case, I must collect myself when nature’s forces emerge and head back into the house for shelter. The house, strong and sturdy, constructed with solid building materials, offers refuge from the storm that is raging beyond its walls. Though the sky is dark and forbidding and the storm relentless, I am safe as long as I am in the house -- I am sheltered from the storm.
And so it is in our walk with God. As children of the Almighty, we can bask in the sunshine of fellowship with Him. We enjoy the sweet communion that comes with being His own and knowing He will always act in our best interest, according to His will. The "peace that surpasses understanding" is ours to enjoy. But just as storms figure prominently in nature, they are also a sometimes pervasive theme in the Christian journey. In fact, the bible says, "The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all" (Proverbs 34:19 NIV). From this we can safely conclude that the Christian life is, at times, punctuated by trouble and strife. There are many battles we must face, many storms we must endure, but the Lord promises to keep us safe in His arms. As children of the Most High God, we can seek shelter and refuge from the thunderstorms, windstorms, and lightning strikes of life.
"Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him." Psalm 91:14, 15 (NIV)
No storm gets to us without first being filtered through the hands of God. We can be encouraged by this news. While we must rely on a meteorologist's report for details on an impending storm, God is never unaware of what the future holds and is never caught off guard. We must remain steadfast, deeply rooted in the Word of God and trust Him in all things. We must always say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust". Wherever your trust lies, therein lies your hope. Put your hope in the Lord and you will never be disappointed. When the storms of life are raging, and the blustering winds threaten to overtake you, seek shelter in Christ and take comfort in knowing that the Son always shines!
By His grace,