Monday, August 4, 2014

Protection in Storms ............................. Parables 152

Being snowed in for a day or two wasn’t all that bad! While I didn’t go about my chores humming “let it snow, let it snow,” nor do I make light of the struggles for those who had to be out in it, this latest storm is filed as a pleasant paragraph in my book of memories. The weather outside was frightful but being inside did become delightful.

It didn’t start out that way. What housebound mother could jump for joy when one of her children drives off to Edmonton in the kind of conditions we has last week? How would anyone feel when their street becomes a giant trap that catches firm in its grasp anything with wheels?

And any imagination at all about what “could happen” to a loved one caught in the storm is enough to give a person ulcers. To top it off, that wind made us aware of the thin places in our insulation.

But we decided not to grumble, worry, or imagine. Instead, we accepted this weather as our lot in life and tried looking for something to appreciate. Finding it didn’t take long.

First off, the wind plastered our house white with snow. It stuck because of the ledges on the horizontal siding. Behold, new insulation! Without touching the thermostat, the house became warmer, drafts and cold spots were gone. Even the windy side defied the -30 conditions.

Our commuting daughter was invited to stay in Edmonton for as long as necessary by a co-worker who lived nearby. She said some of the streets she traveled were “like a huge run, so we leaned back and went faster!”

Our street trapped a few, but everyone got out and pushed. Over introductions, my husband told one neighbor that he would rather have met him on the front lawn over a glass of lemonade; however, the answering chuckle made a memory! Even snowdrifts seem a little smaller when you can laugh about them.

Instead of imagining disasters, we turned our “worry energy” into playtime with our home-bound five-year-old. As we concocted a bear mask out of a paper plate, I thought how nice it would be to hibernate, and how this storm afforded the opportunity, at least on a small scale. We were secure from the elements, glad to be alive.

The hymn writer says, “Jesus is a rock in a weary land, a shelter in the time of storm.” It comes from Isaiah 24:4, “Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat.”

These figures of speech could mean actual weather storms and sometimes parching heat, but more often we feel the blasts from trials of many kinds. Yet our Lord is a perfect refuge, no matter the danger. The Bible says He will protect us in time of trouble, be our stronghold from any enemies, a hiding place from the conspiracies of man, and a comfort against spiteful accusations. He promises safety from confusion and a place to go when the pressures threaten.

As my house snuggled into the drifts, I thought how glad I am that my Lord holds me just as safe. The storms can rage and be just as real a threat as -40 degrees with double the wind chill, but He protects His people; underneath are His everlasting arms.

The storm also was a reminder that the key to contentment during the blast of trials is acceptance; recognize that the thing is under the control of a loving and sovereign God. He promises He will never test us beyond what we are able — but will, with the testing, provide a way of escape so we can bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Very often His way of escape is not running from the trial but snuggling closer to Him; allowing His power to protect and comfort. His people can find safety in Him because there is no wind strong enough to shake us free from His love, no temperatures cold enough to put out the warmth of His care. With that kind of “insulation”, we can face into the wind — with confidence!

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