“I bow before You, looking to Your holy temple, and praise Your name, for Your unfailing love and Your truth; for You have placed Your name and Your word over all things and all times.” Psalm 138:2 (VOICE)
As my family rounded a corner on a winding coastal road in Maine, we came upon this inviting sea-side chapel. We were drawn to its entrance by a sign out front that said “All Welcome.” It wasn’t a Sunday, but the front door of the church was standing wide open, welcoming inside anyone who wanted to enter. The church, built with sea-washed stones, has been standing in this spot for over 125 years, creating a symbol of unwavering permanence ~ just like God’s unfailing love and truth.
While walking around the exterior of the church, I imagined all the extremes in climate that this little building had weathered through decades of time ~ from tempestuous tropical storms and hurricanes, to the massive nor’easters and piles of snowdrift during the harsh New England winters. Yet through it all, this enduring chapel has survived. As we passed through the front door of the church, we immediately felt a sense of peace. The effect that this little place of worship had upon us was awe-inspiring. We wanted to bask in the reverent atmosphere and linger in the presence of God.
And just like the front door of this stone church, God’s arms are open wide, welcoming anyone to come inside. You don’t have to enter a sea-side chapel to experience His peace. His unfailing love and truth are for everyone. He is our Rock in whom we can take refuge. You can linger in the presence of God right where you are today. No matter the phase in life you are going through at this moment, remind yourself that God has placed HIs name “over all things and all times.” He’s there in your most joyous moments as well as the dark and grungy times; your seasons of elation, as well as frustration; your mountain-top experiences and your deep-in-the-valley periods; your days of good health and those of pain and suffering. And through it all His unwavering truth and unfailing love are constant. Step inside and experience His peace…All are Welcome!
“The LORD is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble, And He knows those who take refuge in Him.” Nahum 1:7
You are my hiding place from every storm of life;
You even keep me from getting into trouble!
You surround me with songs of victory.
Psalm 32:7 (TLB)
Are you weathering a life storm right now? Do you feel that unrelenting difficulties are battering your daily activities, knocking you off course? Has an area of extreme turbulence settled in over your home? Are fierce waves of heartache rolling incessantly?
As a child of God, His protection of you is limitless and takes many forms. During stormy periods in life, He is your hiding place…your storm shelter. He is a refuge that surrounds you and protects you while the crisis rages on around you. He’s the place you run to until the danger has passed over, and He’s there to calm and comfort you, hiding you in the safety of His presence…surrounding you with songs of victory. So if you need protection from a life storm, run to the loving arms of your Heavenly Father. Imagine Him holding you securely, shielding you from harm, and singing songs to calm your anxieties and quiet your fears until the tempestuous difficulties are over. He is your hiding place from every storm of life!
How wonderful are the good things
you keep for those who honor you!
Everyone knows how good you are,
how securely you protect those who trust you.
You hide them in the safety of your presence
Psalm 31:19 – 20a (GNT)
The Lord will keep you from all harm— He will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Psalm 121:7-8 (NIV)
“Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.
What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
Psalm 107:28 – 31(NLT)
Just imagine the amazing feeling of relief and deliverance when sailing into a peaceful harbor after passing through a dark and tumultuous sea…
The disciples endured a similar experience as they were crossing the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was on board the boat, but He had fallen asleep, seemingly unaware that they were in the midst of a sudden and fierce tempest. High waves were breaking onto the boat, and it began to fill with water. The disciples’ hearts were melting with fear, and they cried out to Jesus for help. “When He awoke, He rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was great calm.” (Mark 4:39) The terrified disciples were struck with awe after witnessing this miracle and asked themselves, “Who is this man?” … “Even the wind and waves obey him!” (Mark 4: 41)
Are you sailing through a tempestuous season in your life’s journey? Your heart may be gripped with overwhelming fear as giant waves of affliction seemingly crash over your head. You are tossed up and down with no ability to control your course. As a child of God, there are no guarantees of smooth sailing throughout life, and sometimes there will be seasons of extreme turbulence. Like the disciples, you may be right in the middle of God’s will, doing exactly what He has instructed you to do, but still you may experience a sudden life storm. In the midst of the turmoil, hold tightly to the promise that Jesus is always right beside you…He’s in your “boat” in the midst of the storm. He stands ready to calm your turbulent circumstances and save you from your extreme distress. Instead of being fearful, trust completely in the One whom the wind and the sea obey. Watch in awe as He guides you into a safe haven, and praise Him for His great love and the wonderful things He does in your behalf. Peace! Be Still!
“This certain hope of being saved is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, connecting us with God himself…” Hebrews 6:19(TLB)