Sunday, January 29, 2017

God is Our Very Present Help in Trouble

I read that a tornado battered southern Mississippi last weekend and ripped apart homes, classrooms and buildings at William Carey University in Hattiesburg. Staff members from the university spoke with CNN and explained that while sifting through the damage, they discovered an open Bible on the pulpit of the otherwise-badly damaged campus church. An adjunct art instructor at the private Christian college said, “No building was left untouched, and many appear to be total losses. Tornadoes can be frightfully destructive events, yet the Bible lay perfectly untouched and opened to Psalm 46, which reads, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The story has since gone viral, boosting campus morale and inspiring awe across the nation.

That story made me recall the tornado that brought devastation to our International Faith Bible College 26+ years ago at Lake Keystone, OK. They heard the reports that they were in the line of the monster twister, so Dad and Mom (Dad was the President of the Bible College and they had an apartment in the West wing of the complex), made their way to the commercial showers and stalls in the middle of the building. The twister hit strong and almost leveled the entire one-story building, save the area where Mom and Dad were standing in the commercial shower, praying for God to be their refuge and strength, knowing He is a very present help in trouble. It seemed the tornado skipped right over the area they were in. They came out without a scratch. I called Mom yesterday and we talked about that day. I asked her if there were any specific items that she remembered in the debris. She remembered a hymnal that was perfectly fine, except that it had been shot into a wall in the sanctuary. It was opened to the song, “It is Truly Wonderful What the Lord Has Done”. LOL! That 1897 song written by Barney Warren had words like these in it:
He keeps me every moment by trusting in His grace;
He brings me through affliction. He leaves me not alone;
He’s with me in temptation. He keeps me for His own.
He prospers and protects me. His love I do enjoy.

Mom and Dad knew where to go in the time of trouble – to a centered room in the building AND to their God who was their refuge and strength.

In reality, there seems to be no certainty in anything, anywhere, EXCEPT that our God is stable, secure, and is our ANCHOR that holds in spite of storms, conflicts and any other force that comes against us. Bottom line. We don't need to fear. God is our rock, our refuge, our shelter in the time of any kind of storm.

It's time to rise above the storms of life and come back to our CENTER and find our peace in Him. Our peace is an incredible testimony in hard times and will help those around us to find Him as their Prince of Peace. He wants to make Himself known in the middle of the present shaking.

Psalm 27:1 "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"