A Shelter in the Time of Storm :: By Jack Kinsella

In 1880, Vernon Charlesworth composed a hymn that found immediate popularity among fishermen along the north coast of England. They were often heard singing it as they approached their harbors during inclement weather.

“The Lord’s our Rock, in Him we hide,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide,
A Shelter in the time of storm.”

I’ve always loved that hymn, but Charlesworth’s words seemed particularly eloquent to me as Ophelia raged about us.

“The raging storms may round us beat,
A Shelter in the time of storm
We’ll never leave our safe retreat,
A Shelter in the time of storm.”

During the worst of the storm, I noticed with surprise that, even as I was unconsciously humming the melody while fighting the wind and rain to get the generator up and running, I felt completely safe.

Not because my little house was designed to take whatever Ophelia was capable of dishing out but because I had an instant of clarity in which I saw, in a new and profound way, the truth of the saying that “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

I don’t know if I can articulate what I mean by having seen this truth in a ‘new and profound way,’ but I can tell you it was a warm and wonderful experience.

It is sometimes easy to forget that God is actually in charge of EVERYTHING — lots of times I think I am, and God lets me.

But it is times like these, when something potentially catastrophic comes my way, that I find I am the most at peace. It reminds me that I am given stewardship over a few things but that God is in charge of EVERYTHING. Including outcomes.

There is little that makes one feel more helpless than facing the awesome power of a hurricane, but for me, it was a reminder that I am NOT ‘helpless’– but rather, DEPENDENT. I am dependent upon God for my provision and protection. As I am every single moment of every single day.

“A shade by day, defense by night,
A Shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes afright,
A Shelter in the time of storm.”

Today’s Omega Letter is a bit abbreviated — I have to conserve gasoline for the generator — there is no telling how long until electricity is restored.

But the howling of the winds and the roaring of the sea, the sounds of things going BANG in the night, the darkness and pounding rain were in the Hands that I trust for my daily provision anyway.

We can SEE a storm. We can’t see if we will have jobs, or homes, even one day into the future.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day” (2nd Timothy 1:12).

I thank my Lord for that reminder.

This Letter was written by Jack Kinsella on September 15, 2005.

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