You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: “God, you’re my refuge.
I trust in you and I’m safe!”
That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps,
shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—
under them you’re perfectly safe;
his arms fend off all harm.
“If you’ll hold on to me for dear life,” says God,
“I’ll get you out of any trouble.
Psalm 91: 1- 4, 14. The Message
God has always spoken to us through His Word. Here, the Psalmist speaks of God as a refuge: a shelter from the storms of life, and from deadly hazards.
When we watch storms, hurricanes, and other disasters around the world, these words seem to take on a deeper meaning. Recently, the news has carried footage of Tropical Storm Laura, which has swept through the southern part of our country. With some disasters, people are warned ahead of time. They are encouraged to go to higher ground, and to find a place to shelter until the storm passes. The same can be said of us. When there is a storm coming our way, God encourages us to go to His higher ground, and to shelter through our disaster with Him.
There are also times when something like an earthquake or a fire comes upon us so quickly, that we don’t have any time to prepare. These are the moments when we need to act swiftly, in order to get out of harm's way. These can be also the most difficult disasters to survive. Yet, amidst the ground shaking under us, and the heat coming towards, Christ is still ever present.
The power of untamed mother nature can make us feel helpless. When we lived in Idaho, we had the Snake River on one side of us, and the Weiser river on the other side. Around New Year’s Day 1997, we had a warm front come in suddenly, and immense flooding occurred on the Weiser river, but not the Snake. The Weiser river rose quickly to seven feet above flood level. With no warning, some homes and businesses were under water within hours. The poor Riverside Baptist Church had the river flowing through its church facility! What’s more, it was quite something for our little town to be featured on the national news!
Weiser really wasn’t prepared for such a disaster. No lives were lost, but the damage was immense. Yet through the flood, God provided a refuge for things which appeared to be lost. Our church facility was untouched, and used briefly as a Red Cross shelter. The Baptist Church worshiped in another facility for a time. Businesses dried out, and people were intentional to patronize those places which had closed for some time. Together, our little town worked together and moved forward.
We have the same options when unexpected crises happen to us. We will have disasters flow through our lives. Yet we can get in the life raft that Christ offers us, to move through the high waves and whirlpools that we must go through.
Our nation always finds amazing ways to help people in disasters like Tropical Storm Laura. People get on planes, power companies send trucks, and organizations like Samaritan's purse jump into action. God works through these individuals to help rescue those in peril. Christ wants us to reach out to Him, so He can rescue us from our own peril.
God is our refuge and our strength in every kind of storm we face. Praise Him! And let us thank the Lord for delivering us through those storms. Hallelujah! and Amen.
You are the spiritual lifeboat of safety in our lives. Help us to realize that when things whirl around us, and life feels out of our control, You are still there. You want us to call upon You, and cling to You through the storms of our lives. Thank you for caring about every aspect of our lives, from simple small things, to life changing and overwhelming problems. Help us to grab the spiritual life-ring You are holding.
We pray this prayer in Your holy name. Amen