Echoes From the Campfire

The bank of clouds now swept hugely out of the western sky.  Its front was purple and black, with gray between, a bulging, mushrooming, vast thing instinct with storm.  It had dark, angry, threatening aspect.  As if all the power of the winds were pushing and piling behind, it rolled ponderously across the sky.  A red flare burned out instantaneously, flashed from the west to east, and died.  Then from the deepest black of the purple cloud burst a boom.  It was like the bowling of a huge boulder along the crags and ramparts, and seemed to roll on and fall into the valley to bound and band and boom from cliff to cliff.”
              –Zane Grey (Riders of the Purple Sage)

    “He stirs up the sea with His power, and by His understanding He breaks up the storm.”
              –Job 26:12 (NKJV)
My mercy, it looks like a double-whammy is on its way this week.  Two hurricanes are converging on Louisiana and Texas and only time will tell of their fury.  Storms – we can try to run away, but a person just can’t get away from storms.  A tornado lowers its deadly tail and people head for the storm shelters.  Interesting term–“storm shelter”–for what is it really?  Psalm 46:1-7, speaks of a shelter.  Storms of nature and storms of nations can be found in the shelter that God provides.

    1 – God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble.
    2 – Therefore we will not be afraid, though the earth trembles and the mountains topple into the depths of the seas,
    3 – though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with its turmoil. Selah
    4 – There is a river—its streams delight the city of God, the holy dwelling place of the Most High.
    5 – God is within her; she will not be toppled.  God will help her when the morning dawns.
    6 – Nations rage, kingdoms topple; the earth melts when He lifts His voice.
    7 – The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.  Selah (HCSB)

Spend some time meditating and contemplating of this portion of Psalm 46.  Right from the beginning it adds to our hope and faith:  He is “always found in times of trouble.”  WOW!  He is the God who is there in the midst of chaos, confusion, and calamity.  He is the God who is there is the midst of suffering, sorrow, and even death.
    The enemy of our souls will whisper, some in the streets might cry out–“Where is God?”  Ah, my friend, He is there; He is always there.  George Wood puts it this way, “You have a choice:  Trust God and do not fear, or mistrust Him and fail.  You will get no emotional benefit or comfort from His presence unless you realize He is there:  your refuge, strength, and help.”  Nations rage, viruses come and devastate, fear grows and is urged on, there is terror in the streets and Satan is laughing.  However, he cannot and will not laugh when you realize that God is there in the midst of all that the enemy throws at the world and at you.
    Who knows what will happen when the two hurricanes collide?  Who knows what will happen in the streets of our cities?  Who knows what will happen to the kingdoms of this world; a world that has only known war, pain, and sorrow?  But, you oh Christian!  Realize that God is there beside you whatever may befall.
    Thunderstorms!  I like a good old thunderstorm.  I used to be afraid of them, but now I enjoy them.  I see the power they have.  When the lightning cracks and pops, when the thunder rolls it can be a fearful thing, but I see them as something created by God and they are only a smidgen of His power.  What is around His throne?  We think that is power, look at what happens when He lifts His voice–oh my.  
    So don’t fear–run to God, run to the fortress that is your refuge and strength.  Just think, one day we will live in that city that cannot be touched by storm, by evil, by sin, by war, or by the threats of the devil.

         “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
          Our helper he amid the flood or mortal ills prevailing.
          For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
          His craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
          On earth is not his equal.”
                   –Martin Luther

So when the devil squawks, when there is a flood of disease, when he tries to kill and destroy you–remember, God is there, run to Him.