As I reflect upon the lyrics to Be My Shelter, written some twenty-seven years ago, I can’t help but think how many, even now and in recent days, have in a very real sense lived out those verses.
BE MY SHELTER
I have watched the storm clouds gather on the horizon
I have listened to the distant thunder roll
I have felt a stronger current in the ocean
I have felt a stronger current in my soul
I have felt the earth tremble beneath my feet
I have heard the breakers crash upon the shore
I have seen a stronger wind begin to gather
I have heard the raindrops pounding on my door
(Be My Shelter Through The Flame 1990)
Finding God in the Storms of Life
Many find it difficult to see God’s hand in such overwhelming circumstances. Whether in nature’s fury or in “the storms of life” as we say, can God be found in the midst of the storms?
There’s a relatively obscure verse in an often overlooked little book in the Old Testament that I believe may help us answer the question. The book of Nahum says: “In whirlwind and storm is His way, and the clouds are the dust beneath His feet.” (Nahum 1:3)
The context of this verse is God’s judgment against Ninevah. Ninevah had responded to His prophet Jonah approximately one hundred years earlier, repenting and thus avoiding destruction. However, they did not continue in a repentant attitude and now the prophet Nahum is once again warning of their certain demise.
In prophesying of God’s power, Nahum reminds the Ninevites that, “The Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” (Nahum 1:3)
Should we then deduce from this that God’s storms are only to punish the wicked? A brief recollection of several accounts from scripture should influence us otherwise.
Noah and his family were used to showing us that humanity could be saved and blessed in the same storm that punished the wicked.
Jesus walking on storm-tossed seas gave the disciples and gives us an insight into the true Master of the Universe.
A severe storm was necessary to give us the comfort we receive from Jesus’ “Peace be still” moment. The Psalmist writes, “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightning for the rain; Who brings forth the wind from His storehouses.” (Psalm 135:7)
God is in the Storms and in the Calm
In all of this, I hope we see that God’s sovereignty is realized every bit as much in the storms as in the calm. His pre-determined eternal purposes come in thunder and silence, In clouds and blue skies, In rain and in drought.
I love the end of that verse in Nahum; “The clouds are the dust beneath His feet.” In other words, what we might refer to as clouds in life’s storms are actually the evidence of His presence. They’re the dust beneath His feet.
I know there have always been storms, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars. However, I must say that as I look at North Korea, Iran and elsewhere; as I see nature literally groan (as scripture said it would) with birth pangs toward a new heaven and new earth; as I observe the signs of the times in light of God’s Word, I must conclude, The Day of the Lord approaches swiftly!
All the earth is groaning
Waiting for the Day
Find me to be faithful
Lead me in The Way
As Christians, I believe we should see and discern in all of these things our ultimate destiny; In His presence forever!
I can almost hear the host of Heaven singing
I can almost feel the power around the throne
While I wait to make that final distant journey
And until I finally make that place my home
Be my shelter, be my sanctuary
Spread Your mighty loving wings and cover me
Be my Savior from the adversary
Be my ever present help in time of need
P.S. Let’s remember to pray for those who have been devastated by the hurricanes and be willing to always do what we can to be His helper in time of need.