When I was a young teenager my then church joined up with a church in Derby for a joint youth camp on the Gower Peninsula in south Wales. The Derby youth group were old hands at camping on that particular site: an old army barracks (from what I remember).
The leaders had prayed much for the week of camp and thought that all the young people would become friends.
That first weekend proved them wrong. They prayed desperately on Sunday night for God to move.
The next day, Monday, the Lord opened the heavens. Literally.
There was a terrific storm with lightning, wind and flash flooding. Rain fell in sheets, drenching everything. Our one road in and out of camp was flooded such that we were cut off from the mainland for a day or two.
At lunchtime the leaders gave up on trying to keep us dry and organised a football match in the rain.
There are some experiences where we can’t help but end up friends with the people with whom we’ve shared them.
God sent rain and changed the atmosphere.
The following summer, we teens eagerly anticipated meeting up again with our good friends for camp.
Shelter conjures up so many images:
A refuge for vulnerable people.
Somewhere unwanted animals can be cared for: cat and dog home, donkey sanctuary….
An umbrella turning inside-out in stormy weather.
Someone shivering in the cold and rain in a bus shelter.
Jesus is my shelter. The Bible says He is my place of refuge and a strong tower I can run to for safety. Like a bird gathering its chicks under its wings against predators, I find safety in the shelter of Jesus’ wings.
This isn’t just poetic language and nice pictures. Jesus is my shelter during life’s storms. He keeps me safe from the enemy. One day, Jesus will be my shelter from God’s judgment and He guarantees me a permanent home with Him. Imagine living with Jesus for ever. Whoop whoop! He’s the best!
Jesus, You are my rock.
Waves may beat around me but I am secure on the rock.
Howling winds may come against me, but I shall not be moved, as You give me strength to stand.
Hailstones may come in life that cause hurt, but You bind up the hurts and pour in oil for healing.
Cold rain may pour down but You give shelter.
The heat of the day may seem too much at times but You give the cooling wind of the Holy Spirit, and give shade under the shadow of Your wings.
All may be dry around me but You give water from the wells of salvation to refresh me.
Cold air may blast around but Your love brings warmth.
You are our shelter, our hiding place and refuge.
When my legs feel weak, You hold me by Your strong power.
You give me support in every situation.
I am secure in Your arms.
Indeed, You are my rock and the One I can fully trust and depend upon.