The crackle of thunder slowly intensified as I read to my sleepy granddaughter. Her eyelids drooped lower as the storm drew nearer, and soon soft, even breaths let me know she was asleep in my arms.
When the worst of the storm arrived, the drumroll of thunder was impressive. Lightning struck a nearby tree, splintering the entire top and crashing it over a fence. My granddaughter never flinched as she rested in my lap. She was sheltered in a refuge from the storm.
During our afternoon walk, heat radiated from the sidewalk, and the high humidity gave the feeling of a summer sauna. The heat seemed to cling and smother, and only a short time passed before its oppressiveness sapped our stamina. We stopped for rest in the shade of the tall pines beside the road. There the temperature was bearable, and a slight breeze cooled our skin. The shadow of the trees provided respite from the heat.
A refuge from the storm; a shadow from the heat.
God used these pictures to describe His care for His people in Isaiah 25:4. He didn’t tell them that the storms would not occur – they were in the middle of suffering. He didn’t promise that the heat would not test them – they were sitting in the proverbial hotseat of trial. He assured them of refuge and shade.
I love that! I love knowing that God is my refuge no matter how fiercely the storms are raging. Like my granddaughter, I can curl up in His arms and rest. I love knowing that He provides respite when the heat of the journey threatens my stamina and my hope. When I rest in His assurance, the cool breeze of His love comforts me.
We face all types of storms in this life – physical, financial, family, spiritual, social. The meager strength that we have is easily expended when we try to face these storms using only our own resources. God offers Himself to us as refuge and shade. Some days it is good to just stop and rest a while with Him.
What assurances from God give you rest in the storms of life?
Isaiah 25:4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:
Psalm 46:1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Isaiah 4:6And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
Psalm 121:5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.