Seeking Refuge

by Doris Hoover

God is our ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 NIV

Hurricanes impact entire communities. Tornadoes, on the other hand, target individuals. They spin down a street, obliterating one house here and one house there while leaving others untouched.

On September 1, 2021, Hurricane Ida blustered up the east coast, launching a tornado at residents of a small New Jersey community. It ravaged individual homes three miles from my daughter’s house. She sent photos of houses ripped apart. Although my heart went out to the tornado victims, I praised God for my daughter’s safety. Indiscriminate destruction!

A week prior to Ida, our entire country felt the hurricane-like impact of world events, but individual families in Afghanistan suffered the tornado-like devastation of a suicide bomber who stood near their children. Indiscriminate violence!

In the aftermath of nature’s storms, people generally resume their normal activities unless they receive a direct hit. Then they stand shell-shocked in front of splinters that used to be a house. Meanwhile, they take shelter in homes of friends and family or in motels. Insurance companies provide financial aid so the victims can rebuild. Gradually, families replace the material possessions that had been torn from them.

In the aftermath of the political storm caused by the military withdraw from Afghanistan, most of us returned to our normal lives, even though our hearts were heavy. But those who lost loved ones, collapsed in shock, unable to stand. How do they go on? Where does one find shelter when a loved one is torn from them?

 “God is our ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1 NIV). If the earth around us gives way, God is our help. When mountains crumble into the sea, God is our help. In the midst of roaring, foaming waters, God is our help.

The devastating circumstances we encounter in life leave us reeling, frightened, hopeless. Yet smack in the middle of our ruins is a place of refuge for broken, hurting people. A quiet voice calls to us. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10 NIV)

The Lord invites us to curl up beneath His wings and take refuge in His strength. No matter what storms spiral around us, He stands immovable, unbreakable. In the shelter of the Most High, we can retreat from turmoil, even if just momentarily. Our trial may not cease, but its effects cease when we burrow our heads in God’s neck and hear Him whisper over us, “Be still.”

The Lord is a refuge for hurting people. He holds us in His arms for as long as we’ll stay. There’s no time limit, no expiration date on God’s comfort. He never moves away from us: We can cling to Him until we’re ready to let go.

Are you in need of refuge? Call out to the Lord. He will never fail you. God will work in your brokenness. He’ll pour healing balm over your deepest pain. The Lord is an ever-present shelter in all of life’s storms.

“I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” (Psalm 61:4 NIV)

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: If you’re looking for Doris Hoover, she’ll be somewhere between the Sunshine State of Florida and Sunrise County, Maine. Most likely, you’ll find her outside collecting ideas for her writing. Her love of God and nature inspire the devotions she writes. Doris is a mother of three and a grandmother of five. She and her husband Tim enjoy traveling to visit their family. Doris has won awards for her devotions. In addition to being published in The Upper Room, CBN.com, Arise Daily e-devotionals, and InkspirationsOnline.com, Doris is also a contributor to many compilations such as Arise to Peace, Short and Sweet, Light for the Writer’s Soul, and more. Her first book is Quiet Moments in The Villages, A Treasure Hunt Devotional. You can visit her website and blog at ANatureMoment.com.

Join the conversation: Have you recently encountered a storm?