Here in the Midwest, we once again find ourselves in the initial season of thunderstorms. Warming temperatures and rising humidity during the days frequently result in piled high storm clouds and raging thunderstorms in the late evenings and nights. We don’t have wild animals, or many deadly snakes, or things that eat you – but we do have the ever-present threat of tornadoes in the Spring and Summer months. We are well equipped with early warning systems, networks of sirens, and lots of instructions on when and where to take shelter!
It seems that there are two kinds of people when it comes to thunderstorms. The first is that group who are terrified by the lightning and thunder, as well as the deluge of rain that comes with it. My Grandmother was in that group, and she rushed her children to the underground cellar on the farm at the first sign of a storm coming. The second group are more like my mother, who resolved to be the opposite of her mom! When it was storming outside, she would gather us on the sofa in the living room and read to us from The Adventures of Raggedy Ann and Andy! To this day, I remember the feeling of being totally secure next to her when the storm was carrying on outside the confines of our tiny living room. Sometimes we played out on the covered front porch while the rain poured down all around us!
We’ve all heard the term “the calm before the storm”, but I’ve found this to be a reality. Sometimes before a storm comes, I sit on the back deck and realize that everything has gone totally still. The birds have all stopped singing, and none are at the birdfeeder. They have all taken shelter in the bushes and trees where they have built tiny, secure nests that sway back and forth with the coming winds. (Even the turkeys in my neighborhood take shelter in the trees!!) It occurs to me that they, too, seek a place of shelter and security when the storms are coming.
Life is like that. None of us will escape this life completely unscathed by the storms and winds that will come our way. The big question at a time like that is “Where do you seek security and shelter?” Losing a spouse is one of the biggest storms that could possibly hit your life. Even when it’s expected, it’s still sudden. You may have been a long-term caregiver, or you may have experienced a very sudden and shocking loss. Whatever that storm looked like for you, it probably had hurricane force winds! Where do you turn when all seems to be hopeless? God has promised during those times to be a shelter and a place of security for us.
Isaiah 4:6 says, “There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.”
Isaiah 32:2 says, “Each will be like a refuge from the wind and a shelter from the storm, like streams of water in a dry country, like the shade of a huge rock in a parched land.”
This journey of grieving sometimes feels like turbulent emotions swirling around and around in our hearts, forming dark clouds that threaten to overwhelm us. It’s not an easy place to be, nor does it feel at all secure. It’s at those times that the promises of God come to remind us that He is our place of security and that He will be our shelter.
“But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress.” – Psalms 59:16
An old hymn by Charles Wesley expresses this in such a precious way:
- Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last.
- Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.
- Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me encourage you today to trust in the promises of God when there are storms around you and inside you! He is faithful and will bring you through every storm to a place of safety and security. He will hide you until the storm passes by and you can once again breathe and laugh.
Your comments are welcome, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or feel free to share this with anyone who might need your encouragement to keep moving ahead.