Sunday night, our region got hit with pretty severe thunderstorms. They didn’t do damage like the storms in Calgary on Saturday that stripped siding, broke windows and windshields and flooded streets. But this storm still lashed sheets of rain against our house. So Lori and sat down in our kitchen to watch the storm. It was amazing to see, hear and feel it’s power especially when lightning flashed and thunder struck. Yet it was also comforting to be in a place that could shield us from the storm and keep us dry.
It caused me to think a little about the Bible images of God being our shelter during a storm. There certainly are times when we can run to Him and find shelter in the midst of life’s storms. The idea of refuge implies such protection. “God is our refuge and strength – an ever present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1). Yet notice that though God is our refuge, we still have to go through the trouble.
Or how about the famous passage from Matthew 7:24-27.
Jesus speaks. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them is like a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rains fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Jesus says that storms or pressure, temptation and trouble will come into our lives. Yet, if we have built our lives on Him and His teaching, our lives will not fall. If we have ignored him and his teaching, our lives will fall. So in this passage and others which talk about God as our rock (See Psalm 18), the invitation is to a kind of proactive preparation for life’s storms. Every moment we invest in knowing Christ and following His teaching will contribute to a solid foundation for our lives. Then when storms come (a business failure; a cancer diagnosis; the death of a loved one; a troubled child), our lives can withstand the “beating on our house” because of Christ.
Yet God is also in the rescuing business for people’s whose lives have fallen. Think of the thief on the cross. He built his life on sinking sand. Yet Jesus reached out and rescued him hours before death. We see this repeated pattern of rescue throughout the Bible – the woman caught in adultery, the man possessed by demons who lived among the tombs and the outsider woman who persevered through all the gender and racial barriers of that day to receive healing for her daughter.
So if you are going through a storm today, cry out to God for His help. Remember His holiness, righteousness and faithfulness especially to keep His Word. Rest in His shelter as He walks with you as a very present help in trouble. If you are not going through a storm today, invest it in further construction of your house on Jesus’ rock. When the next storm comes, your life will be more able to bear whatever comes because of Christ.
“Thank you Lord Jesus for being our Rock. We’re pretty good at putting on a brave face and showing the world that we have it all together. But some things unnerve us and some situations threaten us. Yet help us to move forward in spite of our fears by drawing us to Yourself, the Solid Eternal Rock on which we stand.”