Sunday, June 5, 2011

Find that hiding place yet?

I remember as a little girl, when the dark of night would approach my mind would begin to stir. I was that little girl afraid of the dark. I couldn't even lay in my bed facing away from the doorway. The blankets would be pulled up to my nose and I would lie awake until the fear overtook me. I would call out, "Mom? Dad? Could you come lay with me for a little while?" I wouldn't have to wait long until one of them answered. I am sure they were probably saying, "Okay, it's your turn tonight." I am not sure why I had nightmares. I am not even sure why the dark was so scary. But what settled me was feeling my parents arms wrapped around me. Just feeling close to them left me with protection and comfort. I could then close my eyes and rest for the night.

I must have just been that little kid afraid of everything. Storms also scared me. We always seemed to have severe weather as we lived close by the river. Storms seem to follow the path of water. When a tornado siren would go off or you would hear weather reports on the news you didn't go outside and stand wide open in the yard gaping at the skies, waiting for lightening to strike and winds to blow. You took cover. You hid in a safe place. You snuggled in close to your family and stayed tight until the weather was once again settled and safe. You knew once the rains had stopped you could then go outside. What did you most likely see? A rainbow of course.

We think of hiding as being a coward. Not at all. There is a time to stand tall and there too is a time to hide in protection. I read a verse today that brought comfort to me. To this girl that just wants to hide right now as the storms of life drive those treacherous rains down.

"For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock." Psalm 27:5

Do you see these words? When trouble comes we can hide in God's covering. He will cover us with protection. When we are afraid of the storms we can find Him and hide in His loving arms. You know what a pavilion is? On a hot summer day all is open but the canopy covering you from the burning heat of the day. I can't tell you how much comfort this verse brought to me today. I just felt a huge peace wash over me. I don't have to be afraid of the dark, or pull the covers up high. I just have to call out to my God, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and He is ready to grab me up and wrap me up in His arms. Is there any place safer than the arms of Jesus? Wherever He is, is where I want to be.

Whatever your facing today, you don't have to stand out in the storm and let the hail beat down upon you. You don't have to try to stand against the blowing winds that try to force you down. Seek shelter. Find comfort. Call out to Jesus and He will rescue you.

"For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings." Psalm 61:3-4

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even through the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High." Psalm 46:1-5

He is that strength we need to make it through. He will wash that fear away from us as we place our trust in Him. He removes all doubt and fear with just one touch. One whisper and we feel His abundant strength wash over us like a splash from a fresh, spring fed lake. Just as I said before, storms seem to follow the path of a river, a place of water rushing. In God we can find that quench to our thirst. That thirst we have to find peace and solace. Being a Christian doesn't mean storms will not come. It doesn't mean they will follow our path. They will. If you have haven't been touched by a storm yet, get ready. They come out of no where. But thing is for sure. We can find safety in Christ Jesus. We can find shelter in Him as those storms approach. As they near, He will give us what we need to be safe. He will give us shelter. Sure, we might feel banged up and bruised sometimes, but there is nothing that can take us from the cleft of His love and grace that He bestows upon us daily.

I find the more storms hit, the more I cry out to God. The more I feel attacked, the more I am searching for that safe ground. That shelter below the storm. I find myself feeling antsy and looking at the skies, wondering, "Is it okay? Will it pass? Will it leave destruction?" I am learning to be still and simply trust God. It's not easy at all, but I am learning. God is teaching me. He continues to show me, He is in control.

"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice!" Philippians 4:4

We don't have to feel anxious. Some of you know how a panic attack feels. Many times when a storm hits we just automatically go into fear mode. God tells us we can be still in Him. Can you picture yourself in His lap with His arms wrapped around you? Sometimes all we need to know is that everything is going to be okay. To us, things might look really bad. We might think, "How can things ever be okay again?" God sees before the storm. He sees the eye of the storm and He sees beyond the storm when the horizon is clear. We can rejoice in that alone. This is where our faith really comes in, my friends.

My faith is being challenged right now. In our walk, our faith will continue to be challenged. We will at times question everything we believe in. We will wonder and ask, "Why?" I am finding in my walk with the Lord, it's okay to question. That's how I find His truths. He puts those anxious thoughts to rest. He quiets my thoughts so I can find rest in the night and joy in the morning.

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Joy does come. We must focus on the joys and not the storms of circumstance. It is when we focus on the joys that those circumstances will one day be made clear and we will see that through the storms we were made stronger through Him. We might have been challenged, but God sees those challenges as opportunities for us grow in Him and trust Him more and more each day.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7


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