July 8, 2008
"You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat." (Isaiah 25: 4)
According to the Associated Press, "This year's Atlantic storm season has its first hurricane." And her name is Bertha. Forecasters say that it is much too early to determine if she will eventually affect any land areas. But they've certainly got their eyes on her. When I was growing up, we kind of had our own Weather Warning System, and her name was Grandma Lottie. She would run around the house yelling, "Storms-a-comin'...Storm's-a-comin'!"
Wouldn't it be downright comforting if there was a National Center, or if everyone had a Grandma Lottie, who would track the storms that are threatening to make landfall right in the center of our lives? Maybe they'd send out a Severe Storm Warning so that we could hunker down and brace ourselves for what's ahead. Forewarned would be forearmed. Somebody out there would be watching out for us. Sirens would sound their alarms and somebody would tell us when to board up the windows or when it's going to be so devastating that we need to evacuate. They'd tell us how long we have. They'd yell, "Storms-a-comin'!"
Jesus Himself warned us when He said, "In this world you will have trouble." (John 16: 33) Translation: Storms will come. Rains will come down, streams will rise, and winds will blow and beat against our houses. (Matthew 7: 24-27) We will go through the waters, pass through the rivers and walk through the fire and the flames. And according to Isaiah 43:2, it's not a matter of "if" it happens ....it's more like "when" it happens. And that's the problem...we just aren't sure about the when. There's no Weatherbug or Hurricane Center or Grandma Lottie to warn us ahead of time. In a split second, the lightning is flashing and the thunder is roaring and we're caught right in the middle of a hurricane force situation. We need to be prepared for the storms of life long before they reach our doorstep. The time to search for the batteries and the flashlights is NOT when you can see the tornado coming or feel the force of the winds.
In a split second, the doctor says it's cancer. In a flash, a loved one dies unexpectedly. Your meeting with the boss turns out to be the very moment that you get your walking papers. A child gets hurt or arrested, your spouse says that he doesn't love you anymore, something you've poured your heart and soul into fails. Every single facet of your earthly life could change in an instant...are you ready?
Sure as shootin'...storms-a-comin'. But Jesus says that if you dig down deep and lay the foundation of your house on rock, it will be well built and nothing will be able to shake it. (Luke 6: 48) That's not saying that it won't hurt. That's not saying you won't lose a few shingles or shutters in the storm, but your house....your very life...will still be standing when the storm passes, if you start building now, during fair weather.
The Lord is your Rock. (Psalm 18: 2) He is unmovable, unshakable, and He stands firm and steadfast through every storm. He is the only sure foundation that you can build your life on that will never move, no matter how furious the weather. Let Him be the place where you stand at all times, not a 911 call that you make when the storm is on top of you. He'll stand with you. He'll be your shelter. He'll hold you up when you're being tossed to and fro. And when the winds die down and the sun comes out again (I promise you, it will), He'll still be right there beside you because He never left. You'll look each other in the eye and say, "Whew...that was a big one...but look at us! We're still standing!"
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