from Ian Toone
Psalm 57:1 – “In the shadow of Your wings I will find refuge until the raging storms pass by.”
James 4:8 – “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
Imagine a house full of Christians, divided up in three different rooms. Outside rages a powerful storm which rattles the roof and causes the building to shake on its foundations.
In the first room there is a group of Christians who claim to trust God, but they are in complete denial of the storm. They claim God loves them so much that He would never allow such a storm near them. They may even say that it’s a sunny day outside!
Things are quite different in the second room. These Christians are well aware of the reality of what’s going on, but they are also full of fear. They are praying feverishly and are begging God to stop all that is going on. The only thing they focus on in their prayers is for the storm to stop. They might be in reality with regard to the storm, but they are also in fear.
In the third room things are completely different again. These Christians are enjoying rich, deep fellowship. They pray and worship God, but there is also time for chatting, fun and even laughter! How did they come to be so relaxed? The answer lies in the fact that this group knows God’s presence in the midst of the storm.
The storm, of course, is a metaphor for all the trials and tribulations we face in life. Do we believe that God would never allow us to face trials and tribulations? Or are we frantically fearful when temptation comes because we believe we’re bound to fall unless God removes the temptation before we give into it? Or do we acknowledge and even expect trials and temptations, but live in the secure knowledge that God is with us and, if we draw closer to Him, rather than be distracted by the storms of life, we can assuredly overcome?
“Lord Jesus, thank You that You so want to draw nearer to us than the foes which are around us and within us. Please help us to receive, accept and hold onto Your presence, especially when we are facing tribulation and temptation. And may we experience Your gentle peace calming us and keeping us safe in the midst of the storms of life. Help us not to push You away or switch off from You, but may we lean into You even more closely, and know that we can’t be overtaken by the trials of life when You are so close to us. Lord, we want to live to please You and glorify You in all we think, speak and do. Amen!”