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"For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." I lived on the banks of a river . . . and it captured my attention. These are my observations about the parallels between my life...and the river.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Refuge in the Storm

As I write, I am curled up on my couch. The sliding glass door is open to let in the soothing sounds of a gentle summer rain and hummingbirds darting in for a few last sips before nighttime. It is nearing 8pm and already getting dark outside. The cloud cover is quite heavy.

But so is my heart. In fact, I find the weather to be a perfect fit for the day. It would almost be too cruel if the sun were shining, bright and warm.

Tragedy struck this weekend. A father’s life was taken in an accident while working on his home.

When I heard the news my heart immediately broke for the family of this man. Our families overlap, so I was grieving for the loss of ones I love dearly. I wanted to be transported there immediately to hold them, to comfort them. To DO something.

The feelings of grief were quickly joined by feelings of anxiety – “It happened so quickly and unexpectedly, what’s going to happen next? Am I going to lose another of my own loved ones?” were the questions that plagued my mind throughout the evening and into the next day.

Where is God when things like this happen? How can He allow such disasters as this, that tear families apart, not to mention disasters on a much greater scale like the recent earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis?

Where IS He? How is this part of His plan? Does He know how these tragedies break us? Or is heaven so far away that He doesn’t see us falling to pieces as one senseless thing happens after another?

I went to church yesterday morning looking for answers to these questions. Questions I’ve asked at least a hundred times before, but somehow the answers had escaped me.

My pastor referenced “The Saving Life of Christ”, in which author, Ian Thomas, says, “All that God IS, you HAVE, you can not have more, you do not need to have less”. Colossians 1:26-27 was then quoted“…The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people… this mystery: Christ in you, the hope of glory…”

Christ in you.

Christ IN you.

No matter what happens, you never have to face it alone.

Deep in my heart I felt a whisper, “Don’t worry baby girl, I’m here.

We don’t always feel that He is there. We don’t always feel, or even believe, that He is good. We don’t always see evidence that He is on the throne and in control of all.

But He is.

He is here – IN me. He is good – ALL good. He is powerful – reigning over everything.

When we remind ourselves of these truths, His peace comes into even the darkest of situations. Does it remove the pain? Absolutely not. But it helps to ease the fear and anxiety.

As we worship God for Who He Is even when circumstances are trying to convince us otherwise, then His peace that passes all understanding comes in and sets up a guard over our hearts and minds. He carries us through, with tender, loving arms.

Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings will you take refuge.”

There’s no guarantee that we’ll be preserved from tragedy. In fact, the guarantee is that there WILL be storms in life! But the rest of the guarantee is that we can find refuge in Him. He is always there. He is always faithful. He is Love.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Thank you for opening your heart to us. We weep with those who weep. This is a fallen world and we are not in heaven yet. But His presence can be known by us if we are willing. I too, heard that message at church, and it hit me a little deeper this time for some reason. Then at the evening service, God used what you shared, the prayer time, and the wonderful, worshipful songs to minister to me in a way I hadn't experienced in a while. My thoughts and prayers are for you and your friends who are grieving, that somehow the presence of Christ is known. Daniel