Refuge from the storm
Our area has been buffeted by severe storms over the past couple weeks. Heavy rain, lightning, thunder and even hail has swept through my part of the county, sometimes with almost no warning. Blue skies overhead one minute, then CRACK! the sky is dark, the thunder rolls and the deluge begins. As long as I am inside, the storms don't usually cause me great alarm, however, I was caught on the golf course once when one of these storms arose and the four of us were quite concerned for a few moments. How many odds were against us? Standing in the middle of an open fairway, almost underneath a set of power lines with metal golf clubs in our hands. When we saw the first lightning bolt strike in a yard adjacent to our location, all we remember doing was throwing our clubs up in the air and falling to the ground screaming like a bunch of school girls. Finally, it occurred to us that perhaps we should look for shelter. Even though I was with three good friends, I really didn't relish the thought of being flash-fried with them. My idea of death was much more warm and fuzzy and involves being surrounded by nice music, family and friends.
What is your reaction when the storms of life begin to buffet you? Are you like my dog, Murphy, was and try to bury himself under me and anything else available? Are you like me and fall face down on the ground screaming like a banshee? Or, as the scriptures suggest, do we take refuge in God, our Stronghold and our Shelter? We face so much these days with illnesses, deaths, job loss, divorces, drugs and crime that there is no place to hide and we cannot ignore these storms. Our human capabilities are not able to weather everything life throws at us, nor are we able to fully comfort those who are going through the trials. Only God can do this. Only God can provide us with shelter and comfort. Only God can speak the words which can take away the pain and fear. Only God can provide the power of Love to protect us. Many times we do not feel His presence, and that is normal and expected, however that does not mean He is not there guiding and guarding us all the way through. Then, when we finally come through and awake into the day of sunlight once again, we can look back and see God never left our side.
My closing thoughts? It was a very stupid thing to be on a golf course during a thunderstorm, and I wish I could say it would never happen again, except that my friends and I are rather dense. But, this I can say, God will always be my protector and stronghold in the thunderstorms of my life. He has done it faithfully for many years and I have the faith to know that He will continue for years to come (well, unless I insist on playing golf in the rain with friends who have no common sense).
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fires of life, you will not be scorched,
nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." (Isaiah 43:2-3)
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.