I Would Hurry

As I drove away from work, I had only been in my car perhaps three minutes when the dark gray clouds above me sent a great flash of lightning and the sound of thunder so great and consuming that I instinctively crouched down in the driver’s seat, clinging to the steering wheel. 

It was like a heralding trumpet, announcing the great storm to come….

Driving only a small distance on the highway, the torrential rain began. 

It was difficult to see the lane markings as I crept along at a slow speed with my tires throwing up waves of water from the pavement beneath me.

Once, a vehicle  passed by and the deluge of water from their tires arriving on my windshield stole all vision of the road from me. 

As I made my way down the six lane highway, the radio announcer related weather warnings completely accurate to my situation. 

The thought occurred to me that for so people, everyday life is a struggle, like trying to drive through a storm. 

People who do not know Jesus have an obscured view of life. 

As troubling situations arise, the road ahead is difficult to navigate alone. 

It’s hard to navigate through each day when they’re experiencing the storms without God’s guidance and direction. 

The psalmist said, “I would hurry to find shelter from the raging wind and storm.”

(Psalm 55:8)

That man you see, that woman you see—that grandmother or grandfather–that child—that person who doesn’t know Jesus as their Savior—they are stuck in a storm. 

They want to hurry and find a way out, but they don’t know how to begin. 

We can help. 

Those of us who know Jesus can start by talking to them. 

Talking to them about God and His Son, Jesus. 

They don’t have to remain on a stormy, six lane highway with their hands gripping the steering wheel. 

It can all change—the moment they believe. 

Who can you talk to today that’s struggling in the storm?

In Times of Trouble

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The dinner party at a friend’s house was going to start in about half an hour.

I knew I had plenty of time to make it, though.

Deciding to take a more scenic route to their community, I drove through rural areas instead of the busy highway.

Not long into the trip, I began to notice the clouds.

A storm was coming and it looked like it could be quite severe.

Being fascinated by the steel blue sky, I looked for a place to stop the car.

I wanted to photograph the heavy blanket of water that was slowly overtaking the horizon.

The dirt road led to a place I had not traveled before.

There was no immediate shelter that I could see nearby.

I wasn’t worried—I had my car to sit in if the storm began to rage around me.

After a few shots, I put my camera down and continued on to the party.

What would have been different if I had been walking alone on that road when the storm hit?

Choosing a tree as an option, I might’ve gotten underneath it.

I wouldn’t have felt safe from the lightning, though—-lightning strikes trees.

I’m really not sure what I would’ve done to ensure my safety in that situation.

There are so many people in the world who realize their lack of shelter.

They can’t think of any real protection if things actually did get bad.

Physical protection.

Emotional protection.

Spiritual protection.

They know they need it, but they don’t know how to have it.

When “storms” happen in their lives, they find themselves alone on a dirt road with a dark, threatening sky and no where to turn.

No shelter.

No car.

No house.

It doesn’t have to be that way, however.

God is a ready and willing refuge for us.

When the skies are dark, do we have the confidence to think, “I’ll be fine. I will just take shelter with God”?

When we look back on the last tempest we encountered, could we say, “I wasn’t worried—I knew I had my Father’s lap to sit in if the storm began to rage around me”?

It is good to remember these words of encouragement in the Old Testament book of Nahum:

The LORD is good,
    a refuge in times of trouble.

–from chapter 1, verse 7

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refuge correct

Without Self-Control

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I’m not exactly sure what the little building was for.

It had a small fence in front of it.

There were no windows or doors.

In fact, there didn’t seem to be any walls.

Just posts to hold up the sturdy looking roof.

It was some type of shelter, I’m sure, but it would not have been able to protect someone inside from anything other than sun and rain.

If it had been constructed with walls, windows and doors, that would have been a different story.

Someone inside could have been protected from anything outside.

Proverbs 25:28 in The Message reads,

“A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.”

A house with missing windows and doors is unprotected, much like the structure I saw.

Someone who does not have self-control is unprotected, as well.

Just about anything can come into their lives because there are no boundaries or barriers to keep the bad things out.

Those windows and doors are the boundaries and barriers in our lives that can open up to let good things in and shut tightly to keep what is not good from entering.

I need to consider—-

Do I have self-control?

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My Safe and Strong Place

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I’ve gone there on early Sunday mornings many times before.

Yesterday, I found the lake to be as I had expected it.

Quiet, yet alive with creatures in and around it.

Tall trees with birds’ nests, flowering plants shooting out from the water’s edge.

Not far from the shore, someone had placed a simple wooden bird house.

Just a box with a circular hole for an entrance.

Suspended well above the water, it affords a safe place for a bird to take shelter.

There was a stately bird standing on the top of the house, looking over the lake as I walked along.

The house had been provided for him and for any other bird that needed it.

A person constructed the house–not a bird.

In fact, there is no way possible that a bird of any kind could’ve built that house.

God provides protection for us, as humans.

Invisible, yet tangible to the heart, we are aware of His protection.

There is no way possible that we could provide this protection for ourselves.

God Himself is our safe place.

His strength is there to protect.

We can trust in His provision of shelter.

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I will say to the Lord, “You are my safe and strong place, my God, in Whom I trust.”

—Psalm 91:2

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Raging Wind

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Do you ever just feel small?

While eating dinner out this evening, I received a weather alert on my phone.

A severe thunderstorm was in the vicinity and lightning, high winds and hail could be expected.

After I left the restaurant and a few miles down the road, I noticed the sky above a parking lot.

The clouds were moving in, along with the rain.

A deep orange haze was beginning to tint the darkening sky.

I wasn’t afraid, even though the clouds seemed so large and threatening above me.

I knew I had shelter and that I would be home soon.

If I hadn’t had shelter, I would certainly have been wishing for it.

In the Bible, King David wrote about the pain he felt when a friend had turned against him:

I said, “If only I had wings like a dove!
I would fly away and find rest.
How far away I would flee;
I would stay in the wilderness.Selah

I would hurry to my shelter
from the raging wind and the storm.”

—Psalm 55:6-8

We can see other kinds of storms in our lives.

Not the wind and rain storms, but storms of illness or broken relationships or perhaps a job loss.

Sometimes life can seem to loom above us like threatening clouds.

The only true shelter is God.

When we realize how small we truly are in the face of adversity, we must hurry to God.

He will be our protection from the raging wind and storm.

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