Even during a pandemic, bad news doesn’t seem to take a break. In the past week, I’ve received several texts and messages seeking prayer for some really hard things. Sudden loss. Aging parents. Grief wounds ripped open and raw. It’s like the whole world is groaning, as David cried out in Psalm 13, “How long, O Lord? How long?” (And it is groaning – read Romans 8:18-25.)
As uncertainty swirls around us – viruses, school plans, elections, the economy – and personal tragedy continues to visit us in our vulnerable state, where can we find shelter? How can we rest when so much unrest surrounds us?
Shelter in the Storm
I’m reminded of a night a few years ago when our six-pound Yorkie made her way up the dog stairs and into our bed in the middle of the night. In a haze, I woke up to her shaking, finding she wouldn’t budge from a spot on my pillow right by my head. It was then I heard the thunder and saw the flashes of light outside my window.
A geriatric dog well into her teens (or 70 years old in dog years), she’s completely deaf, but Lucy must’ve seen the lightning and sensed the storm.
I tried to coax her under the covers to nestle up to my side for protection and comfort, but she wouldn’t move from my pillow. So I simply put my hand on her to reassure her, telling her over and over (even though she couldn’t hear me), “It’s ok, Lucy. You’re safe.”
A few hours later, our then-six year old came into our room. He said he tried to go back to sleep on his own, but he kept hearing “pattering” on his window. He climbed into our bed (thankfully, king-sized), and soon both he and Lucy (resting peacefully from her spot on my pillow) were sound asleep.
Covered by His Hand
In bed, as the storm continued outside my window, I began thinking about God’s reassurances to us. The hymn lyrics below kept replaying in my mind.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock,
That shadows a dry, thirsty land;
He hideth my life in the depths of His love,
And covers me there with His hand,
And covers me there with His hand.
Our personal God is present in the smallest details of our lives – reminding us of His care and protection in the storms of life. He may not take us out of the storm, but we can be safe in the middle of it. We will not audibly hear God’s assurances, but the protective hand of God, our Rock and our Redeemer, is covering us, reassuring us of His presence.Even as the skies rage above us and the rain beats against us, we can confidently know we are hemmed in by God's love. Click To Tweet
If we are in Christ, we can be confident of this: Even as the skies rage above us and the rain beats against us, we can know we are hemmed in by His love. Our shaking uncertainty can give way to peaceful rest because God is with us.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5
- What word is repeated five times in Romans 8:18-25?
- In the middle of our storms, how can we wait according to this passage (Romans 8:19, 23, 25)?
- Is there a time when a loved one’s hand provided comfort to you?
- Is there a time in your life when God’s hand was evident when your circumstances were difficult?
- Take some time to thank God for his steadying, protective hand.
Each Monday, I plan to offer you a “Monday Goodness” devotional. I pray it will encourage you to focus on God’s goodness, His Word, and truths to help you cling to Him in life’s impossible. You can find past Monday Goodness devotionals here.
Sharon Woodard says
I have always loved storms with thunder and lightning showing the power and greatness of God’s creation. It is the storms of life which burden my soul and affect me physically that are hard to accept graciously. But, they have been allowed by God, and He places His hand upon me assuring me of His love and presence. He is shelter and security.
Thank you, Erika, for sharing these comforting thoughts, so very well expressed. I’m looking forward to your Monday Devotionals.