It is amazing how much can change in a week, a day, an instant. Similar to many of you, we have been sheltering in place; keeping our distance from friends and family and only going out for essential needs. The way we interact with one another has shifted and even the things we do for leisure have changed with our current reality. This week has led me to think more about what it means to “Shelter in Place”. In times of difficulty, where do we find shelter?
To shelter is to protect; shield from harm. As anxieties run high and so much of our present time is unknown, what do we use as shelter? I am sure some of those answers have surfaced in the past week: routine, television, social media, organizing our environments to gain some control over our situation. But what about finding shelter in hope?
In times that are so uncertain, it is difficult to find hope. As we watch the news, read on social media, or follow people on Instagram, it feels all very hopeless. At the beginning of this year, the word hope was something I felt led to meditate on. I have always thought of hope as something happy: expecting something exciting that is certain to happen. Though as I meditated more on the word, it is actually something that is more difficult than it seems. When things are not going as we expect, how do we hope? Hope does NOT always come naturally, but is often times something we must do in obedience to God. To hope in the Lord, to hope in His plan especially when we don't see it is true hope. It is looking forward when we don't want to because we’re afraid. Hope is choosing to know that God is going to be there in the process as well as in the end. We hope even when we don't feel it or when everything around us tells us something different.
Psalm 62: 1-8 was something I meditated on during this week. Reading these words gave life as I read them.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
How long will all of you attack a man
to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
but inwardly they curse. Selah
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah
In this Psalm, the themes of salvation and refuge in the Lord are stated over and over again. We seek shelter and refuge only in times of difficulty. These are the very times we are living in now.
How do we Shelter in Hope?
- Be rooted daily in His promises. As the waves of our daily lives come and hit us, the Word of God reminds us of his constant and unfailing love. His words anchors us. Start a reading plan (there are many FREE ones on YouVersion) or start to read with a few friends and share through your favorite way to connect.
- Pray. Set aside a specific time of the day to pray. Prepare you heart for that time. Formally create a space in your house specifically for you to pray. This can even be something that can be done in your household. Giving to the Lord only what He can carry as well as communing with Him is the most important thing we can do.
- Choose Hope. In the morning, as we awake, choose to hope in what God has for you and our world.
Challenge: This weekend, implement one or two of the above and share with someone what the Lord reveals to you as you do.
In these times, finding shelter in anything other than the Lord is so fleeting. If we are not rooted or anchored in the One who holds all things together, we will be overrun by our own thoughts and the ebbs and flows of our emotions. Our world is craving to find shelter in something to be anchored in this storm. As those who claim Christ as our Savior, let us find shelter in Him and be a beacon for others to find this same shelter.