We stood inches from the window and watched as golf ball-sized chunks of hail pelted at our bonus room window. I had never seen anything like it. Only minutes earlier, it had been sunny and then with no warning, the hailstorm of all hailstorms was threatening to break through our windows and take down everything in it’s path.
Storms are like that— unwelcome and unannounced.
This particular hailstorm was fast and furious. The sun was quickly restored to shining; everything else outdoors was not. The south side of every house in our community looked like a victim of a drive by. Everything and anything that was left outside was ruined— plagued by dents at best, and holes at worst.
Our truck and our van were packed only two feet away from each other. The truck looked like a giant golf ball, ironically with golf ball sized dimples. It was a write off. My van however, came out unscathed. And it was parked only two feet from the same vehicle. If you’re scratching your head wondering how is that possible…?
It was parked in the garage. The storm raged all around it, but the shelter surrounding it took the hit instead of the van. We all go through storms and most survive, but not all come out unscathed. If you want to change how you go through the fiercest of storms, remember this:
Park where there is protection.
Scripture tells us where there is protection:
5 You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:5-7)
Vines Expository Dictionary defines “guarded” this way:
to guard, protect by a military guard, either to prevent hostile invasion, or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight
It is our shield as we suffer grief in life’s storms. It is the key to parking where there is protection. How do you park? You don’t move without Him.
In preparation for my fearless toddler’s trip to the mall today with great-grandparents, I drilled into him: Hold their hand. Do not run away— it’s not safe. If you want to go somewhere, or get something, ask. They will take you there. But don’t leave their presence. As his parent who loves him, it was so critically important to me that he stayed where it was safe, and thankfully he did. He is prone to take off, so we had practice this idea of parking.
Don’t run away from His Word or His invitation to dialogue. Ask Him for what you want. Bring Him your questions, but don’t leave HIs presence. There is much at stake.
Faith is the difference between our hearts being refined or feeling wrecked.
Faith is the shIeld from the hostile invasion of fear, guilt and regret into your heart. Over time, they slowly and surely cause it to harden. The shelter of His presence is also the only place that can protect you from fleeing from the very promises that will guard your heart and your mind.
God promises in Psalm 91 that those who choose to live (dwell, set up camp) in the shelter of His presence will be delivered, covered, protected and shielded. That person will not fear the terror of the night and no harm will come near them. He will command His angels concerning them— to support and protect them. And He promises to rescue, satisfy, and show His salvation to.
So my friend: choose to bless Him. Choose to let Him be with you. Choose to believe Him. Park where there’s protection Run for cover into the Word. Stay in the shelter. Jesus Christ— His presence, power over sin and death, and promises is the only safe place to hide.