We recently adopted a dog. Louie is a four-year old boxer mix and has been with us a little over a month. He likes to walk . . . except when it is raining. Unfortunately, we have had a few rainy days recently. I was walking with him one day in the rain, so I got one of the large golf umbrellas out. As we walked I kept trying to shorten the length of the leash, so I could keep Louie close to me. I kept telling him if he would stay next to me he would stay dry because the umbrella was large enough for the two of us. But he wanted to get back inside as quickly as he could. He would pull ahead on the leash and try to go faster…trying to get to the house where it would be dry. I couldn’t get him to understand that the area right next to me would also be dry. He could find shelter in the storm if he stayed close to me.
Then it hit me. That is exactly what God is telling me—stay next to me. Stay right next to me under my umbrella of protection and care. That is where it is safest. That is where I am sheltered from the storms that rage all around me. I realized in that moment that I am no different than my dog. I think I know where I can find peace. I think I know where I will be dry. I think I know where I can find refuge. And I tend to run ahead because I already know what is best for me…at least I think I do. Psalm 46 is one of my favorite psalms.
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.
3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
4 A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High.
5 God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it.
6 The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble!
God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts!
7 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
8 Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world.
9 He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
11 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.
It sounds to me like the psalmist knew a thing or two about storms. It sounds like he also knew where he could find shelter. It seems to me he had learned to stay under the umbrella.
We face all sorts of storms these days. Storms of sickness, storms of fear, storms of loss, storms of sin. Some of us are soaked to the skin because we think we can find our own refuge. We think we know where it is safe and dry. We run to any “port in the storm.” And we find that those ports aren’t safe. God wants to help us when we face those storms. God wants us to stay close to him where he can provide shelter to us. His umbrella is wide open for me. His umbrella is wide open for you. Stay close. Stay dry. Stay safe.
We usually add a song that goes along with our blog. Here is one that is just for fun…enjoy!