Storms can come so quickly in life. Sometimes, you have a sense that something is brewing. Other times you are unaware of the storm until the clouds have already formed, the storm is in full force and it completely overwhelms you.
There are two type of responses that you can have when storms come. One of them goes like this: The sun is shining and although you have heard rumors that a terrible storm is coming you choose to ignore the signs and go outside anyway. Before you even realize it, the sun has been covered by dark clouds that have rapidly formed and the water starts to downpour on you. As the water swiftly rises, your feet that were once standing on solid ground are quickly swept out from under you. The feeling of defeat and hopelessness are sure to come and visit you in the bleakness of this hour. Thoughts like ‘will I ever come out of this?’ start to invade your mind. Your situation looks very grim. There’s not even a ray of light that you can see shining through the darkness. You wonder if you should give into your surroundings.
I like to think of the second scenario like this: you know the storm is coming but you choose to stay inside of the shelter. When the rain starts pouring down, the lightning is flashing, and the thunder is crashing, you have no worries. Because, you are on the inside looking out at the storm. You sit peacefully by the nice warm fire while drinking hot cocoa. There is no need for concern. This second scenario is the way that God wants us to go through storms.
I would like to share with you a story that I read recently from National Geographic.
It said this, “after a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park [in 1989], forest rangers began to trek up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in the ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of the tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother’s wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of the impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety, but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, so those under the cover of her wings would live.
How amazing is that? A mother bird who will give up her own life to save her own babies from danger. You may be wondering why I brought this story up. You may be like, sure Shelly that’s a great story about birds but what does that story have to do with my life when danger comes? Well, I am glad you asked.
Psalms 91:1-4 says, Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
I find it so cool that God will use His own creation to show us what He is like and how He wants to take care of us. Just like the example of the mother bird who covered her babies to protect them from harm, God will cover you with His wings with His feathers and protect you from all harm as you choose to live in His shelter.
And He doesn’t stop there.
Psalms 91:5-8 says, Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.
When you are hidden underneath the shadow of His wings and you see the terrors of the night looming up before you and the arrow that flies by day coming at you. You will not be harmed. Why? Because you are looking outside at the circumstances from the inside. You are looking out from underneath His wings and His protection.
Psalms 91:9-13 says, If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
This is the promise that the Lord gives to you as you choose to make Him your refuge. No evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go. There are so many promises He gives to those who make Him their refuge. But, we must choose to make Him our refuge. How?
Psalms 91:14-16 says, The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
He protects those who trust in His name. Trust Him, He is faithful. Don’t wait until the storm is in full force to trust Him. Yes, He will still help you even if you do wait until the storm is in full force. But, that is not His first choice for you. He doesn’t want you to go through all of the struggle when you can simply trust Him and He can hide you under His wings and protect you.
Psalms 32:7 says, You are my hiding place from every storm of life; you even keep me from getting into trouble! You surround me with songs of victory.
Rest underneath the shadow of His wings and let Him protect you in the midst of the storm. Let Him surround you with songs of victory. As you choose to trust in him and choose to not do it in your own strength, He will bring you through the storm unharmed. You will find tremendous peace when you are looking outside from the inside.