through His Word
by Patty Luellen Nicholas
Sometimes we know a storm is heading our way and are able to make preparations. Sometimes it takes us by surprise, but either way, when the storm hits, we need shelter or we will be swept away.
The storm rages, the seas swell, the winds howl, and we hunker down. We have all been through life’s storms. You may be in a raging storm right now. Whether it is financial, or a health crisis, or a child who is on a very wrong path. Perhaps your storm is a job or boss that is unbearable. Perhaps you are experiencing persecution of some kind.
Maybe you are like me and have faced the loss of loved ones.
My storm came with the unexpected loss of my husband. Two days later, my storm intensified when my father lost his battle with a long term illness. After back-to-back deaths of the two most important men in my life, I hunkered down. Before I knew it, in grief, I turned inward and tried to shelter myself. But all that did was push me into a pit of gloom and despair. Although I did not recognize how destructive this was.
Family and close friends helped open my eyes and directed me to the one source of safe harbor that would truly keep me cared for in my raging storms. I knew He was there all along, but I was floundering, drowning on my own. When I reached out to Almighty God, He was the breath of life to my weary soul.
“For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat” (Isaiah 25:4a NASB).
What kind of shelter do we seek? Is it a shelter that is steady and strong, one that will keep us safe and protected and one that will let us heal under its care?
Or is the shelter we seek one that looks good on the surface but will be harmful in the end?
Days after Katrina, one of the most destructive hurricanes in United States history, struck, the people who sought shelter in the Superdome said the sanctuary became their worst nightmare. Was it because the structure was not strong? On the surface, it held during the highest winds. What turned it from a refuge to a prison was due to the planning of the ones in charge, among other factors.
Who is in charge of your covering in your storms? Are you like me and try to go it alone? Do you turn to other destructive things in an attempt to hide from the pain?
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NASB).
Jesus is our perfect shelter because there is not one road that we have walked that He hasn’t already walked before us. He experienced the kinds of struggles and pains, and joys too, that we face today, and He paved the way for us to come boldly to the Father so we can find help. I have good news—not only is He there to provide help, but He longs to be your shield, your covering, and your safe harbor.
It was only when I turned from the darkness of myself to the lighthouse of God, that I found true shelter in the midst of my storm.
To this day, one of the Scriptures that I cling to is this.
“'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
What are the battering winds in your storm today?
What troubled waters are threatening to drown you?
What shelter are you seeking?
Will you let Almighty God care for you today?
© Copyright 2018 by Patty Luellen Nicholas
Photo Credit: Andrey Yurlov/Shutterstock.com
Patty Luellen Nicholas is an award-winning author. She writes Bible studies, devotions, articles, a blog, and contemporary fiction.
She has worked for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association at the Cove in Asheville, North Carolina for many years. She discovered the true meaning of God’s grace when her grief journey began with the deaths of her husband Dave Nicholas and her father Bill Luellen.
Her heart is to share her love of Jesus with others. Her passion is in the study of God’s word, and to teach others how to study for themselves. Her ministry is to help others who have also experienced loss.
She is the mother of two beautiful grown daughters and Nana of two grandchildren.
She lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her dog Stella.
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Check out our other posts in the Calming the Storms Within series:
- Calming the Storms Within (Introduction) by Katy Kauffman
- Building Faith through the Storms of Life by Jennifer DeFrates
- Jewell: From Tragedy to Victory by Katherine M. Pasour
- Jesus, the Survivor of the Perfect Storm by Katy Kauffman
- Hushing an Emotional Upheaval by Katy Kauffman
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loss, grief, adversity, trials, suffering, Shelter in the Storm, Calming the Storms Within, Patty Luellen Nicholas, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies