The weather forecast calls for a chance of thunderstorms just about every day this week. The typical nighttime thunderstorm doesn’t usually bother me. Sometimes the thunder will be loud enough to wake me, but I kind of like the sound, even if my dog doesn’t like the booming noise. If I was standing out in the middle of an open field somewhere, maybe I would feel threatened by a storm. But if I am resting comfortably in my bedroom, sheltered by my sturdy house, I’m not worried a bit. I have shelter.
I remember one time, however, a noisy thunderstorm with hail was walloping our area. It was pretty spectacular to me. I decided I wanted to take a closer look, meaning I wasn’t content to just peer through the front window of my house or the back door. Instead, I ventured onto the front porch. (Yes, I think the storm chasers on TV are pretty cool.) Shortly thereafter, a strikingly powerful bolt of cloud-to-ground lightning struck about a half mile away. I think my feet might have left the ground when I saw it! I no longer felt as secure as I normally do during a storm when I’m all snug in my bed. Why? I had left my shelter. It was then clear to me that I should scurry back inside my house and watch the storm from a safer vantage point (so much for my storm chasing).
Storms of Life
The contrast of this experience with my typical storm experience got me thinking. I experience storms of life differently, too. Yes, some storms are definitely worse than others. But my position relative to the storm matters, as well. Psalm 91 opens, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” If I’ve left the shelter of the Lord, meaning I am no longer resting and trusting in Him, then even smaller storms can seem pretty scary. If I’ve wandered away from the Lord into an open field, looking for security in my 401k, my career success, my children, or my popularity, then I am going to learn the hard way that the elements can be pretty harsh. Instead, I need to turn to the Lord for protection. I need to trust in His provision. I need to live in His presence, spend time in His Word and talking to Him. He provides the only reliable shelter for the storms of life. When He is my shelter, I have a much better perspective on those storms.