My Refuge and Fortress
A few years ago, I participated in an amazing art show in Ocean Reef, FL, hosted by my dear friend Kathie Lee Gifford. It was an amazing time, and her home was just gorgeous. I was able to spend time journaling and reflecting on the way God was revealing Himself to me.One early morning (5:00 am yikes) I began journaling in the middle of a powerful storm. All around me the rain was pouring, the thunder was pounding, and the lightning was striking disconcertingly close to home. Between the flashes and claps, however, there were pauses of peace and calm.As I was journaling about my recent time in Israel, I wrote about the cleansing and purifying power of water. It was a precious life source to the Israelites. As the rains came down, and I thought back to what I had learned about the water cleansing God’s people in the desert, I meditated on my desire to live a pure, cleansed life, free from storms.
Unfortunately, though, storms do happen, and more often than not, they pop up suddenly and without warning. The night before this strong gale, I stood on the water’s edge of Kathie’s home absorbing the most brilliant sunset, painted with God’s brushstrokes dipped in magnificent shades of pink, watching in awe as the sun dipped into the horizon. Not a thought was in our minds as we went to bed that we may wake up to the chaos of a scary storm. How equipped am I to weather these storms? How prepared am I for the onslaught or winds and rain that is surely coming without warning? Certainly there are little squalls that cross our path – soaking showers that give way to rainbows and brilliant sunlight. There are also those slow, gray drizzles that seem to settle in and saturate our spirits longer than they’re welcome. There are still others that erode our hearts with their vicious violence and ferocity. In any case, I want to be prepared and equipped… I want to fortify the banks of my heart, so that it will stay planted and not washed away. God promised me and you, just as He promised Noah, that undoubtedly, no matter the intensity of the storm, He will cause the sun to appear. He will stop the rain and silence the thunderous claps. He will push the clouds apart and reveal His peace and assurance over my life, if only I will cling to the hope He gives us in Jesus, and the hope He spells out for us in His word. When I cling, He quiets. The storms are momentary, but His love and grace for me are eternal. Our prayers go out to everyone that will be affected by Florence.