June 19, 2012

Take Shelter

Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! ~Psalm 61:4
I'm so not a camper type girl. My idea of camping is at the very least a lodge, but a bed and breakfast or a nice hotel with room service would be perfect. Two reasons: hot showers and better beds. Tents are pretty high tech nowadays, but I'm convinced they cannot replace a cozy bed. *And nothing says slumber like a rock in your back.* Next to finding water and food, finding/or building shelter ranks high up on the list in the desert. A shelter serves as "something that covers or affords protection" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). A shelter provides us with security and rest. The enemy of security and rest is fear and anxiety.

Have you ever had a panic attack? I have. It's gone down in my history as one of the worst moments of my life so far. At it's pinnacle I was just a wreck. I was crying uncontrollably (I had no clue that my body could have that much water), shaking, and nauseous. I didn't really eat much for days after that except crackers and Sprite. I had a lingering headache for a couple of weeks. I didn't want to go hang out with friends, I wanted to go home and sleep. I tried to cling to a routine as much as possible because I found a small sense of comfort in that. Regardless of whatever symptoms you may have, anyone who's had a moment(s) like that will tell you that it was marked by an overwhelming sense of fear. I definitely felt scared, which made me feel vulnerable, and I hated that. 

I've talked to others who've been through desert seasons as well, and apparently we've all had our fair share of meltdowns in the midst of them. In the middle of the desert we can easily cave into fearing. Fearing an unknown future, fearing that our problem or situation is too big for God to fix, fearing being hurt or left alone, fearing we're going to be stuck here for the rest of our lives, etc. The most repetitive command in scripture though, is this: "Do not fear." When we fear we lack trust in God, that He's in control and that He is good. Fears attack us when we don't feel secure (or sheltered) in our relationship with Christ. When we're in the desert we need to seek shelter in the Lord. Taking shelter in the Lord means resting in who He is; knowing the attributes of God. Here are just a few of God's attributes that we can rest and take comfort in when we're in the midst of a wilderness:
Preoccupy yourself with Christ, rather than running away in fear. Seek refuge in Him. Trust in Him and His character, for He is to be our shelter in the midst of the desert.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.  ~Proverbs 18:10
If we can keep our eyes on the cross of Christ, where God infallibly certified His love for us with no change possible, then the pain He ordains for us will not undermine our sense of being loved. Instead, we will put our hands on our mouths and bow before His all‐loving, all‐ruling providence. We will trust Him to only do us good – whether it feels good or not at the moment. And we will wait for the day when all will be repaid and made plain. ~John Piper in A Sweet and Bitter Providence


  1. Dry spells are the worst. They really are when all the fears come out one on top of another making you freak out, break out and feel like the worst of the worst.

    And speaking of camping the last time I went, I was 23 and literally slept with a rock in my back..I was miserable! ha!
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

  2. Such a good reminder of where/who our refuge is! I experienced a desert season when I first moved away to college, and I remember the fears and doubts that flooded my mind so clearly. What calmed my heart was time spent reading the Word and in His presence.


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