Is it raining on you today? You know the kind of rain I mean. Not the pleasant pitter patter of a good ground soaking rain that feeds and grows and blesses. Not the rain of relief that many of my friends in Texas are so hungry for. Not even the quick down pours we've been experiencing here in the thirsty desert during our recent monsoon season.
I want to know if you're in a storm of sorts. An unwelcome, undesirable, scary, and threatening storm of destruction, hardship, or sorrow. We all go through those storms occasionally, unfortunately. They're the storms that threaten to overtake us, to sweep us away, or to cause great destruction in our lives.
Some of those storms are financial. One thing after another breaks down, gets lost, or becomes immediately necessary. Illnesses, surgeries, home repairs, car repairs, and losses cause the bills to mound until they fall upon us like a damaging hail storm.
Some of those storms are relational. One person or more begin to batter us with their words, accusations, slanderous remarks, or lies. Sticks, stones, words...they all come raining down with equally damaging effects.
Some of those storms could be physical. One part of our anatomy after another begins to ache, burn, rumble, or just cease to function like it should. Head, shoulders, knees and toes are only the beginnings. Places begin to hurt that we never knew could hurt. Or maybe nothing hurts...except the words spoken by the physician sitting across from us in the wood paneled office.
And there are many other types of storms too. Family storms, business storms, mental storms, church storms, spiritual storms, you name it...
If you're going through a storm of any sort today (and I'm just experiencing the last few windy and frailly unpredictable days of a couple of storms myself), take encouragement from the words I read in Psalm 91:1-6 today:
The one who lives under the protection of the Most High
dwells in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
He Himself will deliver you from the hunter's net,
from the destructive plague.
He will cover you with His feathers;
you will take refuge under His wings.
His faithfulness will be a protective shield.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
the arrow that flies by day,
the plague that stalks in darkness,
or the pestilence that ravages at noon.
And I might add to the psalmist's last statement, "or the storm that rages all around you."
In a storm of sorts today? Come into the shelter of His wings today. How do you do that? It's not just a matter of visualizing it. That works for about five minutes for me. No, if you really want to settle in under His protective shelter, you need to follow the prescription mentioned in the middle of this passage: Let His faithfulness act as your protective shield.
Come in from the storm, dear friend! There is shelter in the Almighty God, the Lord Most High.
- Read of His faithfulness in His Word on a daily basis. See how He faithfully came through for David, Moses, Abraham, Hagar, Ruth,...the people of Israel, the world.
- Remember how He's been faithful to you in the past. How has He provided, stepped in, redirected, healed, restored, and protected you in the past?
- Thank Him for His faithfulness in the past. He loves to give encore performances!
- Remind yourself of His character by reading His Word and reflecting on His ways, His priorities, His passions, and His words. Then praise Him. For Pete's sake, praise Him. He inhabits the praises of His people. That means He moves in and pushes aside the rain clouds and shines brightly upon your daunting situation, giving perspective and hope and light to show the way.
- Find appropriate promises in His Word that relate to your storm and memorize and meditate on those scriptures. Hold fast to them.
- Pray those scriptural promises and ask Him to bring them to fruition in your life.
- And expect Him to be faithful to you...even when you can't see His hand right away...even when others are not...even when the odds seem stacked against you...even when it seems impossible.