“When the storms of life come, if they come to me personally, to my family or to the world, I want to be strong enough to stand and be strength to somebody else, be shelter for somebody else.” – Anne Graham Lotz
In April, 2014, a tornado hit the city of Vilonia, Arkansas, destroying everything in its path. One Vilonia family escaped without injury even though their house was blown apart. Nick Havens, his wife and three children survived because his in-laws had a small metal safe room installed in the garage. The Havens could hear the sound of splintering wood and crumbling bricks as the tornado hit. They thought the “Family SAFE” shelter was going to take off at any minute, but it held. Though they lost everything around them, they are alive to tell the story. A SHELTER – is a place giving temporary protection from bad weather or danger; a shielded or safe condition; protection.
Vernon John Charlesworth a Baptist minister,
was the Headmaster of the Spurgeon Stockwell orphanage. It was a unique concept: a large set of homes designed to provide children a family-like setting with free housing, food, education and care. A widow of another minister donated the land and a sum of money to shelter the children. Charlesworth, a hymn writer, penned these lyrics that also became popular among fishermen who had to face frequent storms in the Northeast:
“The LORD’S our Rock, in Him we hide. A Shelter in the time of storm. Secure whatever ill betide, a Shelter in the time of storm. A shade by day, defense by night, a Shelter in the time of storm. No fears alarm, no foes afright, a Shelter in the time of storm. The raging storms my round us beat, a Shelter in the time of storm. We’ll never leave our safe retreat, a Shelter in the time of storm. Oh, Rock Divine, oh Refuge dear, a Shelter in the time of storm. Be thou our Helper, ever near, a Shelter in the time of storm. Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land, a weary land, a weary land…a Shelter in the time of storm.” I love the capitalization of the word Shelter, signifying the name, reputation or character of God!
Psalm 91 reiterates this assuring Truth. I can’t say it any better, so I’ll just leave it here for your consideration, meditation and comfort:
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of
the Almighty. 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night,nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.11 For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Be encouraged! Like the Haven’s family, we can hide in the cleft of the Rock when the storms of life are raging and find shelter under God’s protective care!