Shelter from the Storms
Melanie Chitwood

"Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:8 (NAS)

The thunder and lightning of a powerful storm rattled our house last night. As rain slashed against the windows and lightning lit up the dark sky, I woke up just long enough to make room for my youngest son and yellow lab to join me and my husband in bed. I remember thinking with surprise that I didn't even know it was going to storm.

What a picture of my life lately. It's been a year of unexpected rain. Some just drizzles, but others, like the storm hitting me most recently, have rattled windows with wave after wave of thunder and bursts of lightning.

What about you? Is there stormy weather in your life right now? Where are you finding shelter from the storms?

My friends and family have been a shelter for me this year, just like my family was last night as we all huddled together in bed. They've encouraged and supported me. And most importantly, they've pointed me to the strongest shelter from the storms, my Heavenly Father.

As I've turned to Scripture this week, I'm amazed at the number of times it reminds us God is our shelter. God knows that we will encounter hard times and His Word reminds us that the strongest and safest shelter is God Himself.

As always we have a choice: get drenched in the rain or seek shelter. You see, the storms of life can cause us to run toward God, but just as easily they can cause us to turn away. A whole range of emotions can leave us standing in the rain to get drenched: bitterness, anger, confusion, helplessness, or hopelessness. If you can relate to these emotions, you might feel badly for having these emotions, but don't let these feelings keep you from God.

Read the Psalms and you'll see that God can handle every emotion. Negative emotions are not a reason to turn away from God. They're the very reason to turn to Him, desperately wanting the kind of faith and strength only God can provide.

Keep turning to God, continue to tell Him in prayer how you feel, and leave your emotions with Him. As you do, you'll start to feel His nearness, His hope, His promise, and His comfort. If you find yourself returning to feelings of fear or hopelessness, just go back to God. Be honest in your prayers. Acknowledge that you're having a hard time, but that you want to trust Him in your circumstances. Know that He loves you and will consistently and constantly be your shelter from the storms.

Dear Lord, "Hear my cry, O God; give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings" (Psalm 61:1-4, NAS). In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Join us for more Everyday Life encouragement

What a Husband Needs from His Wife by Melanie Chitwood

An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears by Micca Campbell

Fear Less, message on CD by Lysa TerKeurst

Application Steps:
Find comfort as you read Psalm 61, 62 and 91 today. Write out and display in a prominent place in your house a particular verse that helps you keep your eyes on God.

Have you been turning away from God? Can you turn back to Him today? He is waiting for you with open arms and a loving heart. He loves you and wants to be your strength and comfort in the storm you're facing.

Power Verses:
2 Chronicles 20:12, "… For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." (NAS)

Psalm 91:1-2, "Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him." (NLT)

© 2009 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Brennan Mannings new book fits right in here.

Blogger Karen said...

Thank you!!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow what a timely devotion i am amazed at the way god lets me know he is there and to just keep trying in my faith it is small and i question my feelings and emotions all the time. Thanks for putting thoughts out their for people like me who really need the message.

Anonymous Jenni said...

Thanks for this devotional! I struggle with making time for God, and often that leaves me standing alone in the field instead of resting in God's shelter. I do desire to stay with him. Thanks for the timely reminder...

Anonymous Rani John said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful devotion. How often we forget our shelter in God and get drenched in the storm...Thank you for reminding me that He is our strongtower and refuge in times of trouble.

Blogger Unknown said...

We, as human beings seem to be so hard headed. Instinct tells animals to shelter-in form the storms, by we, foolishly think we can beat them, that we are tougher than the raging storms. So often, only when we are bruised and battered, do we realize we have a place of peace and protection in the loving arms of our God. Oh, how He wants to hold us and love us. Oh, how we often resist. Thanks for the devotion, It helps keep my focus on Him Who loves me so.

Blogger Carol said...

Thank you for this message. We are in one of those storms, and I know we'd be living full of fear if we didn't have God to shelter us.

Blogger GEARS said...

Sometimes I feel guilty, immediately turning to God when the proverbial rain starts and things get stormy for me. I think that He has enough going on, and one of these times will be the one time too many and He will say "ENOUGH". Then I remember that for me to do anything BUT turn to him is when I will get REALLY screwed up!

Blogger My Journey to Hope said...

Wow! I was just journaling about the storms God has been helping me through. During a storm, a lot of times we can't see clearly, logic fails, and emotions go haywire. But by clinging to God and getting in His presence, we can find peace in spite of the storms.

And it's true that we have to surrender all of our crazy emotions to Him. A lot of times I feel guilty for doubting and being afraid, like my faith must be really weak. But I'm learning to accept God's grace during those times and I keep crying out to Him in spite of my feelings.

Great devotional, really encouraging and relevant! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!


Blogger Joan Carr said...

Very well put together. What a blessing to know the He is our Stronghold and our Refuge in times of trouble and in times when there is not any turmoil in our lives. What a Savior!!!

This is the best comfort I've heard during a storm to date.

Wow, I want to say more but I can't because of the awe I am in right now.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi sweet ladies, Thank you so much for the comments you left here. I wrote this devo about a month ago, and I can honestly say God has brought me through these storms and He is faithful! I just want to say keep turning to Him. Don't listen to the voice of the enemy telling you lies that your situation is too small for God, or that He has bigger things to worry about. Don't let the enemy have that power in your life. Keep praising God, not necessarily for the storm but in the storm. This is another verse that has mean a lot to me: I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
blessings - Melanie

Anonymous corina silver said...

i do love this devo! it spoke straight to me today. i think the storms we are in are there to make us stronger in our faith and in our in relationship with the Lord. with God we can weather any storm. when we think we are ok and "step outside" and we get "struck by lightning" its that time that we need to rely solely on the Lord to heal us and protect us. His loving hand will never leave us; His spirit will never forsake us. its in those times that it is crucial to lean on God! He wants us to do this. we are not wrong to Run to Him! an incouraging scripture: romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer! -Praise God

Anonymous melissa said...

thanks so much, melanie. i was/am having a bad day today, struggling with what seems like insurmountable issues with my marriage, and your God-inspired words reminded me that He is greater than all that surrounds me.

Anonymous Sean Chang said...

Thanks again for a wonderful devotion.

May we all learn to abide in the Shelter of our Lord.

Anonymous Teske said...

Thank you for this blessing, Melanie. It was just what I needed to hear today. I am eager to share this devotional with my Mommies with Hope group tonight as we are all facing our own "storms."
In Christ,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this timely reminder of God's greatness during the storm. I am in a huge personal storm and I am grateful to sit quietly and seek Him.

Please pray for me as I am trusting God for His help, seeking His will and taking comfort that He is holding me in His righteous right hand.

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