Since we travel significant distances down the road year round we encounter weather and road conditions that many others may never experience. We get caught in plenty of storms – rain, snow, blizzards, dust storms, wind storms – you name it, we’ve pretty much have experienced it. Some storms are routine with a little rain here or there, maybe a little thunder and lightning, others are significant, and quite memorable.
When traveling the wide open roads out in the west USA, you can see for miles and miles at a time and under the right conditions you can easily see what’s on the horizon 20 or more miles away. Sometimes we will see massive thunderstorms on the horizon and we are fascinated by these storms – it’s like watching our own Weather Channel special, while the lightning dances and flashes across the panoramic sky in an aggressive attempt to strike the earth, sometimes accompanied by deafening thunder that shakes nearly everything in the area. Side note: The energy unleashed in a single lightning bolt is astounding – the heat in one single bolt of lightning can be hotter than the sun that heats our earth, and could generate tens of gigawatts of electricity, which would be enough to power a billion homes (but only for a few millionths of a second). That’s some awesome power.
With some of these storms the sky can turn from blue and sunny to dark enough that it appears as if it suddenly became night. These storms can be distressing enough that even seasoned drivers, such as my husband (with almost 40 years experience) will pull off the road and wait out the storm. We’ve encountered rain that is so heavy that we cannot see out of the windshield, and we’ve encountered snow that ices up our wiper blades enough that we have to reach out and flick the wiper blade while we are driving in an attempt to get the blades clear (that was until we bought heated wiper blades – they work wonders). We work hard to avoid most threatening weather conditions, however, since the weather can be unpredictable and storms can pop up from seemingly nowhere, we cannot avoid entering into storm conditions while we are driving.
It’s the very same in our lives, we can be as careful as possible to map out our route, we can check the horizon to scan for any signs of disturbances, and we can consult experts on how we should move forward. But, it is inevitable that we will encounter conditions in our lives that equate out to storms. Some will be small storms for sure, but most likely we will also experience storms that shake us to the very core. And just as it is important to seek shelter during terrible weather conditions, in our lives we need to seek shelter from those strong storms that hit us so very hard and take us into the darkness of nighttime within seconds of striking.
As Christians, we should rely on God for every moment of every day. But, when I am shaken to the very core of who I am when facing an unwelcome and unexpected experience, I seek shelter in the Lord. He has promised us that He will always care for us. The Bible has 365 statements telling us that we should not fear or be afraid. And, He also tells us that He is our shelter from the storms that we will face. It’s so very hard to rest in the midst of the storm. It’s so very difficult to see, or even, imagine that God is working out a plan while you are immersed in the storm. He assures us of the victory, even if the outcome is not what we wanted or expected. But, even if He feels distant to you at the time, when you come through the storm, I can assure you will be able to look back and see where He was there working in the background. Take heart while you are in the storm, shelter with God, lean into Him and His promises, ask Him to teach you what it is that He wants you to learn. Try your best to wait patiently and trust, really trust that He will bring you through. He will not fail you.
“He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” (Psalms 91:4, ESV)
“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.” (Psalms 27:5, ESV)
“For you have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,” (Isaiah 25:4, ESV)
“for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah (Psalms 61:3-4, ESV)