We are accustomed to extreme weather in Oklahoma, but this week has gotten our attention and tried our patience. I’m talking storms! I’m talking frog-strangling rains, baseballs of hail, bolts of lightening, rivers rising, dams overflowing, sirens blaring, and cell phones shrieking with ear-splitting warnings. And tornados! Yesterday we had two dozen that hit the ground and numerous that didn’t. A popular meme on social media called it “drop-a-witch-on-a-house” weather.
So like most Oklahomans, we have a “fraidy hole.” In our case, the only interior “room” in our house is a small closet under the stairs. And like most such closets, ours has slowly been accumulating stuff. Jerry kept assuring me that in case of an actual tornado he could have that space emptied in seconds. I wasn’t so sure, so on Monday when warnings were dire, we (I) decided that we should clean it out and make room for two humans and two dogs. Mission accomplished. It always feels so good to clean a space and get rid of junk…including a box still packed from our old house. If we haven’t needed it in eighteen years, we probably don’t need it.
The point is, now we have a place to go when storms are coming right at us. A place of safety, of refuge. But where do we go when the storms of life threaten us? When there is a different type of peril, one that threatens to overwhelm us? I’m thinking of those I know with serious life-threatening illnesses. And I’m thinking of their families, so concerned about the loss that might be coming. I’m thinking of those I know who are walking through the valley of bereavement, who are flooded with rivers of grief, and blindsided by sudden memories that release fountains of tears again. There are those who are going through financial storms, so worried about the wolf at the door. And those who are walking through relationship storms, including the storm of divorce or estrangement from a family member. And there are those who are scared to death about a child who has veered from a safe path.
Where do you go when these types of storms are bearing down on you? You go to your interior safe room. To your internal prayer closet. You go to that place down deep in your soul where you meet with the only One that can protect you from the trials and tribulations of life. You meet with Elohim Machase Lanu, God our refuge (Psalm 62:8). You turn to Jehovah Magen, the Lord who is your shield and helper (Deuteronomy 33:29), to Jehovah Mauzzi, the Lord your fortress (Jeremiah 16:19) and to Jehovah Mephalti,the Lord who promises to deliver you (Psalm 18:2). There is something so powerful about praying His names!
Here is the truth. We can plan and prepare, but our only real protection from the storms of life is God. Sometimes He delivers us from the storm, and other times He delivers us throughthe storm. No matter what storm you are facing, you can rest assured that El Shaddai, the sufficient, almighty, God of Heaven, always comes through and always accomplishes His purpose for us and in us (Genesis 17:1).
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2