Shelter in the Storms

The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. 
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.          Psalm 23:1-2 (HCSB)

Why does God allow thunderclouds and disasters in my life when I am wanting green pastures and quiet waters? It may be a waste of my time and effort to ask “Why?” – but there it is.

I have prayed The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) since I was a small child. It wasn’t until more recent years that I began to comprehend what it meant that God provided what I needed for today and tells me not to worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:19-34). It is a principle of His way for me that began with the Israelites receiving manna for each day only (Exodus 16). God is teaching me about leaning or trusting in Him, not in my own strength.

Physical exercise builds physical stamina. Exercise is all about “resistance”, one force against another. Spiritual muscles are build much the same way. My spiritual stamina develops in conflict. It is not in pushing against the conflict but in grabbing on with both hands and humbly, even with great courage, submitting to the weight of the conflict and allowing God to have His way and bring me through. It is recognizing that this is part of the story of my life. That acceptance is the place where real peace is found. The peace that Jesus promised (John 16:33).

Behind those thunderclouds, the Father dwells in all His power and in all His glory. Behind the loud, impressive lightening is a day that has no night (Revelation 21:23) because that is where God lives. Behind the loud thunder that attempts to deafen me is the still voice that speaks comfort, encouragement, wisdom, and truth.

There are weather changes in my physical world that I must “adapt” to. When a rainstorm comes, I must close the windows and choose to stay under shelter. I have the same option when a storm comes up in my life. I choose to turn to my Father and bend to enter the shelter of His words of truth and comfort. When the blistering heat beats down on me, I seek the “coolness” of the Holy Spirit’s words of life and encouragement.

Your teachings are sweeter than honey.
They give me understanding and make me hate all lies.
Your word is a lamp that gives light wherever I walk.      Psalm 119:103-105 (CEV)

God’s view of my life is full and complete. I can see only a limited length of the road in front of me. God understands that my human limitations cause me to ask “Why?” stormy disasters happen but He desires to build a relationship with me that reassures me that He knows all and will never allow anything to dislodge me from His hand.

Help me to see that although I am in the wilderness
it is not all briars and barrenness.
I have – bread from heaven, streams from the rock, light by day, fire by night,
thy dwelling place and thy mercy seat.
I am sometimes discouraged by the way,
but though winding and trying,
it is safe and short. — Puritan Prayer from The Valley of Vision 
(ISBN#978-0851518213, Banner of Truth, 2003)

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