The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
Picture this – you are outside, it is dark and you have lost your way. Not a lamp-post to be seen and your map just blew away in the nearing storm. It starts hailing and the wind picks up. The insulated coat you thought was a great idea now seems completely inadequate. Your hands and feet hurt from the cold and every time the bitter wind hits you in the face you feel regret and impatience and fear. All of a sudden up ahead, you see a small shelter that glows warmly from the windows, is it too good to be true?! There is a wood fire inside! The walls look strong enough to withstand any storm, so what do you do?
We cannot avoid storms in our lives, in fact the bible warns us that if we are truly belonging to the King he will test our faith with fire. If we are willing to stand up against the evil of the world there will be some amount of backlash. There are all different types of storms – in some we lose our mental or physical health, in some our reputation. Maybe in the cruelest kind we lose people we love. Each one of us has a cross to bare this side of Heaven yet sadly as Christians so often we try to battle through by ourselves. We see the refuge ahead of us but stand at a distance from it thinking “I can handle this myself a little longer, I’ll take my chances and keep going”.
In order to receive the benefits of a refuge you have to run into it. You have to be willing to admit that you need help. This involves turning to God quickly when we are in adversity, taking the time to pour our hearts out to him and choosing to trust Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. We cling tightly to the promises of God knowing that he has a 100% success rate in keeping them. If we can learn to turn to God quickly in the small daily rain showers, how much more will we depend on Him during the hurricane seasons?
So as God’s children what do we do when we are facing trials? Spurgeon says “Beloved, run to your Hiding Place… each one of you who can have a claim and interest in Christ; run to Him now and say: “Thou shalt preserve me from trouble.” As sons and daughters of the King we are not defenceless against the storms of life. The Lord sees our troubles and cares about the anguish of our souls (Psalm 31:7).
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock. (Psalm 27:5)
Inside this hiding place is peace for the soul. It is cover for our sins, freedom from shame and relief from temptation, fear and regret. Secure from the chaos and winds outside it is quiet and unchanging. Go ahead and meditate on the shield around you – everything that you really need is here in Jesus. Tell him all your sorrows, pour out your heart to him and rest in his unfailing and infinite love. By being hidden in Christ our trials are not always taken away, but we must remember that true safety and protection comes not from absence of trouble, but by being in the presence of Christ. When we run quickly to our Father and entrust our lives to Him, we honour Him by recognising his sovereign control and plan for our lives. Indeed on that final day we will either run from the Lord, or be found hidden in Him – don’t bypass the refuge he so graciously offers us now.
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy bosom fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high:
Hide me, O my Saviour, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
O receive my soul at last.
– Charles Wesley