A shelter in the Time of Storm

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.

Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land;
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
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 may round us beat,
A Shelter in the time of storm
We’ll never leave our safe retreat,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

O Rock divine, O Refuge dear,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Be Thou our Helper ever near,
A Shelter in the time of storm.

I was reminded of this song recently when we experienced some of the worst storms I can remember. We have heavy thunderstorms in my home country Zambia especially around the copperbelt. Loud thunderstorms, lightening and unbelievable destruction. I can still remember the sight of trees fallen each next morning, I would be amazed, not at what I would see but what I would hear. Birds singing, and singing loudly. I would wonder to myself “Are the birds singing because God protected them?” or maybe “Are they singing because the sun was coming up and the storms were over?” I also wondered to myself if the birds I heard singing had lost their nests the night before, or even worse, maybe their eggs. I was reminded that birds do what God created them to do. They don’t worry about tomorrow. They praise God today in spite of what may have happened in their life yesterday.

The same can be true for each of us. Jesus said “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” If we are more valuable than the sparrows and if God knows us and cares about even the hairs on our head, shouldn’t we be able to sing praise to Him like the birds do. We should sing today, not because everything is necessarily okay today. We should sing today, not just because God protects us from the storms of life. We should sing today because that is what God created us to do – to praise and worship Him. Those birds taught me a spiritual truth that morning that I hope I remember during difficult times that may come my way.

Couple of comments on the lyrics:
Secure whatever ill betide – This particular phrase is one of those phrases where I say to myself “People don’t talk like this anymore.” This language, although atypical from our normal language today, communicates a deep truth. We are secure in Him. Listen to what Jesus said about His sheep in John 10 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” This Bible verse and this hymn lyric remind me that we are secure in Him no matter what trouble comes, no matter what devastation occurs, and no matter what ill betides. He is our refuge, our shield, our protector, our defender, and our Rock.
A shade by day, defense by night – This phrase made me think of a cave as a place of protection. A cave is a place of refuge that one can go during the heat of the day. I can imagine wandering in the Judean wilderness during a hot, scorching day desiring to find a place of retreat and coolness from the heat. I also think about a cave at night as a place of protection from harm. I place where you go with your family and you hedge yourself in. The Lord truly is a shelter that provides rest and comfort from the heat of the day, and He is our protection during the dark trials of this life.

So let me ask you today. Is Jesus your shelter during times of storm? Do you seek shelter under His wings when the storms of life come? Do you recognize that sometimes the shelter isn’t the prettiest place in the world, but the shelter that He provides still does it’s job – it protects you from danger? Or are you like me as a child, trying to leave the safety of the shelter so that I could know what was going on outside? Wasn’t it foolish of me to think that having knowledge of the storm (seeing the storm) gave me control over the storm? How childish I was then, and often times am now!!! Just because I could see the storm didn’t mean I could do anything about the storm. When I was a child, I needed to trust that shelter for protection. And today, I need to trust Jesus to be my shelter in the time of storm. He is a rock in a weary land, and yes, He is a shelter in the time of storm.

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