Shelter from the Storm
By Sherri Callery (Erwin Life Class)
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
During a recent weekend getaway with my husband, we had the privilege of touring the Biltmore House. We visited during the winter, so the outdoor gardens, while neatly manicured, bore no blooms. Yet the barrenness of the garden reminded me that when we face the winters of life, those times when everything seems painful, difficult, dull, and empty, we can find hope and perseverance by trusting God to use that time to mold us into His likeness. From the thorns of life, He brings forth impeccable beauty, all for His glory.
As my beloved and I passed through the gloomy walled gardens and strolled under the sukkah structures covered with colorless vines, I wished that we had not come during the winter. Then as we entered the Biltmore Estate Conservatory, I was overwhelmed by the distinct contrast. Had we come to Biltmore Estate during the spring when the outdoor gardens were lush and beautiful, the sheltered flora would not have impressed me like they did during our winter visit. Blasts of bright colors and sweet aromas delighted our senses as we sauntered through room after room in the conservatory, each filled with spectacular varieties and captivating hues.
Had I not previously walked through the wintry, barren outdoor gardens, my appreciation for all that conservatory contained would have paled in comparison. Similarly, when life’s journey takes us through valleys filled with grief, pain, and suffering, then we gain a much greater appreciation for God’s marvelous gifts and are drawn into closer intimacy with Him and more meaningful worship. As The Chandlers sang in “Forever Yours”, “the darker the valley the brighter He shines.” We simply cannot experience the Christian life to its fullest, celebrating the new life we have in Him, without plodding through life’s winters and submitting to the Father’s pruning.
The flowers in the conservatory could reach their fullest potential because they were sheltered from the winter elements. There, the plants could thrive in the ideal climate, receiving the appropriate amount of water and nutrients at the right times from devoted staff, enabling them to flourish.
Similarly, when trials come, we must run to the Lord. He is our perfect shelter, provider, protector, and sustainer. While storms are a given in this fallen world, we do not have to weather them outside or alone. When we come to Him, surrendering our lives to His Lordship, then we have full assurance that He is always with us to hold us, guide us, strengthen us, equip us, and transform us.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
24 With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me to glory.
He will never leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6) He is our strong tower. (Proverbs 18:10) Let us choose daily, moment by moment, to come to Him. (Matthew 11:28) Nestled in His loving arms, He enables us to weather any storm and shine His radiant light into a dark and dying world.
Matthew 5:16 16 Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Very encouraging. Thank you. :)
Precious insight, Sherry. Thank you for this reminder that we claim in the dark what we know in the light, because our Lord will never desert us.
This devotion was such a blessing to me this week— a needed reminder that the Lord is intentional with all that happens in our lives and even in difficulties He is holding us and transforming us. Thank you Sherri!
That was lovely, Sherri. Thank you for sharing your insights and the encouragement from the Word.
Thank you so much Sherri for pointing us back to the fact that Christ is our Rock and will never forsake us.
Thank you for sharing so beautifully Sherri. I love the truths you have communicated so well from God’s Word and His precious promises. These are life lessons to hang on to for sure! I love the analogies you used and also how God reveals Himself and His ways through His creation.