My Shelter in the Storm

“Yahweh, you’re the bedrock beneath my feet, my faithfortress, my wonderful deliverer, my God, my rock of rescue where none can reach me. You’re the shield around me, the mighty power that saves me, and my high place.” -Psalms 18:2

The constant battering of life can very easily leave one asking, “where is God?” Especially during times of endless storms, late nights, and stress filled days that seem to drag on and on. In those moments it takes extra strength to acknowledge truth and to count blessings.

Sometimes we get this grande idea that as Christians we can literally calm the storm, like Jesus did on the boat. Only, was not His original plan to ride it out? He was even sleeping! All the while everyone else was in a panic, believing they were going to drown.

The storm they faced that day was a literal one. But Jesus would go on to face many spiritual storms that He was destined to face and surrender to. The greatest of which, His arrest, beating, persecution, and crucifixion.

Yet even in His darkest moment God never abandoned Him. Even though Jesus felt cut off because of His pain, God never left His side and the power of God still rested upon Him. Jesus chose surrender, He chose to die, when in reality He could’ve easily called fire from heaven and ordered angels to rescue Him from the cross.

There will be times in which you will tell the storm to stop and it stops, and other times in which the storm rages on despite your longing for the sun. It’s in those moments we either choose to remain the same or allow God to mold us into something that can withstand any storm.

The devil wants you to become blinded by fear. Storms are powerful, loud, chaotic, and destructive. Spiritual storms are even more so. He wants you to lose control, to become distracted by his attacks that you lose sight of God and His presence amidst the storm.

When you lose sight of God, only then do you start to sink. Giving the devil authority to harm you and your family in ways he wouldn’t have had the authority to do before.

Soon all you will see is what the devil wants you to see, and you’ll start doing his dirty work by seeking out those things for yourself. You’ll turn your anger and resentment off of him and unto God, forgetting yourself and your true enemy.

I’m guilty of this. But thank God that today (in the midst of one of those never ending storms) He gave me a new perspective.

I’m laying in bed, my son, who turns 1 in just a couple days has been battling an illness after being sick off an on for a couple months and dealing with chronic constipation since 6 months.

I’ve waited for hours in waiting rooms, gone through doctor switches, have even played doctor myself more often than not, trying to help my son. But every time I’ve reached out to doctors I’ve hit dead end walls. I’ve often felt the same with prayers.

The stress these last few months from constant turmoil has really taken a toll on me and my marriage. And today, on the brink of having to cancel my sons birthday I’ve looked forward to like an anchor all this time I’ve come to realize that God still has been good to me.

He’s the real reason I want to have a celebration. Without Him I wouldn’t be where I am today, holding my albeit sick little boy, but my greatest blessing nonetheless. I’d go through hell and back for him, and let me tell you sometimes it feels like I have.

Celebration or not, I choose to thank God anyway and to be thankful. We are so blessed to have access to medicine, income, a home, and beautiful property. To be healthy overall and my son as well! We are blessed to have family and friends wanting to celebrate and bless us in return at James party. Those blessings remain regardless of the devils schemes.

And as I shook my head earlier today, thinking, “what could possibly happen next,” as my husband went to mow and found a flat tire I realized I was going about it all wrong. The devil might be making jabs at our property, peace, unity, and joy. But ultimately they were merely jabs and not devastating blows.

God is with us.

What I’d forgotten was that the same God who calms the storms is also the shelter amidst the storms. He gives you the tools you need to overcome every attack from the enemy.

Sure it would be easier and less painful if God never let the devil take a shot at us. But then we would have no reason to grow, no reason to rely on God, no chance to taste the victory He paid for in blood.

I really don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I do know God will be there. Providing and protecting in ways I don’t always see until after I’ve had the time to reflect.

What is God doing for you amidst your storms?

Does your list of blessings still far outweigh your list of woes?

No matter what day you’ve had, thank Him for it. For every good thing comes from Him, and He is your shelter in the storm.

Play it Safe or Lack of Faith?

“You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” -Psalm 91:5-6

After the birth of our son last May, we quickly realized how expensive medical care can be. Fortunately, we were part of a Christian sharing organization which covered all our expenses.

With COVID and the added monthly cost of baby James to our “insurance”, we began to question whether it was worth paying since neither of us planned on having another child anytime soon and any “what if’s” pointed toward a lack of Faith. Or at least, that is what some Christians were saying.

I surely didn’t want our money to be sowed into our fear. Nor did I want to plan for scenarios that, in Faith, I prayed would never occur. Things like debilitating injuries, severe illness, or some other calamity of the devil. And so I wondered, was it a lack of Faith to play it safe?

In the general sense even the most radical Christians wear seatbelts, wash their hands, lock their doors, carry a gun, have smoke alarms or emergency protocols in case of fire or tornado. Of course by law we must pay certain insurances and follow safety and precautionary rules, whether on the road or at work. Isn’t that just being smart?

As I sat at church, I noticed a fire extinguisher wasn’t far from the entrance door. And it made me realize that there really isn’t a definitive line to cross when it comes to protecting yourself, your property, and those under your care. God doesn’t hate the material, otherwise He wouldn’t have placed us in a material plane of existence where quite often we rely on the material to survive and thrive.

As with everything, God cares most about your heart behind it. He cares about the spiritual, the everlasting. Do you have health insurance out of fear? Or is it merely something that felt like the right thing to do for your family?

If in your heart God is the supreme provider and protector, and you have no fear of the future and trust in Him, then any action on your part to “thicken” the hedge, so to speak, is of no concern to God.

We too are called to stewardship and to protect that which God has entrusted to us. And carelessness on our end can lead to destruction. It’s like stepping out in traffic thinking God will save you. Or jumping out of a plane without a parachute. We are called to be reasonable and wise, to partner with material things in order to bring about the Will of God on the Earth.

That being said, there will be times in your life that the Holy Spirit will direct you to take a leap of Faith into the unknown, without any foreseeable help. It will feel very much like stepping out in traffic blindfolded or out of a plane, free falling.

Jesus sent out His followers, the 12, without provision at times, and yet that wasn’t always the case as we read in Luke 22:36:

“‘But now”, he said, “take your money and a travelers bag. And if you don’t have a sword sell your cloak and buy one.”’

If you find yourself in need, God will provide. If you have all that you need, God has already provided. You see, everything belongs to Him and will someday return to Him. And so I leave you with this;

Seek the Lord.

Peer into your heart and determine why you take actions to protect your property, your self, and your family. Whatever you’re bound to by law is biblically lawful to obey (ex. Using seatbelts), anything that is purely choice, look at closely. Let the Holy Spirit either confirm or convict you on each matter and ultimately accept the peace of the Lord over all these things, because He loves you.

It is not God’s Will that any harm befall you, your household, or your church. But you should always be positioned to say, “Lord I give it all to you,” if He ever asks. He is your treasure, and heaven is your storehouse.

As for me, until I have perfect faith. I am going to do everything I can do to protect my family and friends. And trust God with all the things I can’t control. Because even with the best protections I still need God.