Written by Rachel Denison
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” –Psalm 91:1-2
Recently our area of Texas has been hit hard by hailstorms. Personal friends and family members now have to deal with the damage and insurance claims. I am thankful to say no one was personally hurt, and all the damage was done to temporal things that don’t carry near the value the people do themselves.
Hitting even closer to home, many dear friends and family members are facing personal and spiritual storms in this season of life. They are braving the storms of their own lives each day and feeling like they’re in it alone, wondering each day when the storm will pass. Loss, grief, sickness, trial and suffering are all aspects of life none of us are immune to. Each of us knows the heavy, sinking feeling associated with any of these hardships.
Last year about a month after our miscarriage we had a long period of rain in Dallas, which we found fitting for our time of grief. I remember well staring out the window of our new, recently purchased home while rain poured down on our roof. I can still feel the sadness that attempted to take over my mind and heart as I wished the rain would envelop me and swallow me whole. That new, lovely home we’d bought for our growing family was ruined as far as I was concerned. It was marked by loss, hopelessness and death. I felt as though there was nothing I could do to erase the memories of the month prior from each of the rooms. My only memories in this new house were horrible, sad, broken ones. I honestly didn’t know what to do.
I lay in bed one night that week thinking and processing all the thoughts and emotions that would run through my mind in a given day. I remember simply being sad that my heart hated our new home because of the only memories it held. I turned my heart toward the Lord with a simple ask, “God, will you change my perspective on this home? Will you show me what you intended it for?”
Suddenly, the memories I had been having flooded my mind. But this time, it was like I was seeing them from a different angle in the room, a different perspective. Instead of seeing this house as a curse, God showed me it was a blessing. This house was ours, not a rental that didn’t belong to us. It was truly a safe place for us to mourn and be broken in the time of our greatest grief. It was a place we could cry aloud and beg questions in the midst of doubt and fear without a worry of being heard by a soul. God had truly provided a shelter for us in the worst storm we had yet to face.
My perspective began to shift entirely as I allowed God to show me the truth of every situation. My bitterness was turning to thankfulness as I began to see clearly the provision and hand of God to give us a home when we would need it most.
The next time I stood in front of that same window, rain pouring down, I experienced peace, not sadness, and relief for my grief. I felt a steady knowing in my heart that I was standing in a haven, a shelter from the storm–physically and spiritually. I felt the steadiness of a Father, holding my hand and covering me with his wings. And the memories that fill my home are now ones I see through a lens of his faithfulness shielding me.
“He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” –Psalm 91:4
I wish I could rightly articulate my gratitude to him, but words fail me here. In all of this, I simply want to encourage my dear friends and family in the midst of their storms to pause and ask for a perspective shift. I know I couldn’t have made it through without it. May our faithful friend, Jesus show you where he is at in your storm. May he silence it with his love and hold your hand through it. May you see his angels guarding you in all your ways.
This is our promise:
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
The promise is not for a life free from trouble, but for a present Father in the midst of it.