Watching newscasts of the horrendous weather in the midwest makes me so thankful I live where I do. It is just shocking to me that you could be sitting on your porch enjoying the sunset one minute and the next be staring at a pile of matchsticks that was once your home. Storms in life are often like that – they blow in suddenly and leave you staggering, wondering what happened. Even if you see the storm approaching it is usually impossible to outrun it or hide from it.
A storm that I am altogether too close to is the one my niece is going through with her six year old daughter. I mentioned little Allie in a previous blog and her battle with leukemia for the second time in four years. Allie has been very sick with some terrible side effects. My niece commented on her facebook post this week that Allie was so depleted physically by the chemotherapy she couldn’t even get out of bed. She doesn’t fully understand why she feels so bad. Life is just one big storm for her. Allie’s hiding place is when her mommy crawls into the bed with her, pulls her close and just cuddles – sometimes for hours. Allie still feels sick but she also feels safe and warm.
Most of us have outgrown the opportunity to stay in bed all day and cuddle with a parent when our storms descend. But – there is a hiding place every bit as warm and safe and sheltering. Deuteronomy 33:27 tells us “the eternal God is your refuge and dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” I love that picture because it tells me that when I curl up and let God wrap His wonderful arms around me I am safe. And if I get to thrashing around in the midst of that storm and fall out of bed – underneath are His everlasting arms. He will catch my fall and gently place me back on the mattress of His love and compassion.
The psalms reinforce His promise by assuring us that He is our hiding place, He is a strong tower, He will hide me in the secret place of His tabernacle, He is my refuge and my shield. Psalm 91 says “He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you can take refuge.”
Aren’t you thankful God has provided a hiding place for his children – a place of guaranteed safety, of intimacy, of communion with Him? A place protected by an impenetrable shield so that even though we can’t avoid the storm we can weather it by letting Him pull us out of the wind and the rain and into the center where peace resides.
But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Ps 5:11