I confess – I didn’t see this one coming either – but again that’s what an ambush is – a surprise attack, one you don’t anticipate and therefore don’t prepare for in advance. Which is exactly how it went down on that particular day. The rain came down with force and volume as I watched and waited out the summer storm. But without warning the raindrops on my roof morphed into hailstones hurling from the sky.
This ambush of the hailstones moved on quickly as the hailstones were replaced once again by raindrops, the quieter, less destructive version of their frozen form. The hailstones, however, had literally left their mark (or marks to be more accurate) on my roof before moving on, a reminder of their angry ambush.
So just after writing about the importance of a firm foundation in my previous post (#94) I find myself focused on the necessity of a covering that can shelter me from the weather and the storms that inevitably come into my life. This is definitely a stormy season. I need a reliable roof to protect me, to be a secure covering providing me shelter.
So being forced to focus on my earthly dwelling at the moment by the necessity of a new roof, has me thinking about my true dwelling place. I am told to build on the rock and not the sand in Matthew chapter seven. God provides the foundation Himself, He is the foundation, He is the Rock. God also provides the protective covering.
“How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in You. In the shelter of Your presence You hide them from the intrigues of men; in Your dwelling You keep them safe from accusing tongues.” (Psalm 31:19-20)
God’s very presence is a shelter for me! King David realized the same thing when he wrote in Psalm 61:3-4 these words about God,
“For You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in Your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.”
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ . . . He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91:1-4)
Psalm 137:1 tells me, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” I want to live in that home whose foundation is the Rock and whose covering is His wings, His Presence. I desire what David spoke of in Psalm 27:4-5 when he said,
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”
He is my dwelling place.
He is my complete dwelling place, from foundation to covering. As those words attest, my Heavenly Father hides me, covers me, shelters me and sets me firmly upon a high rock. He establishes me and He covers me. Rocks and feathers. A firm foundation and a soft sheltering cover. And He provides walls as well!
“You hem me in – behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me.” (Psalm 139:5)
“Surely . . . I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
I could not ask for more than that. Because –
“Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” (Psalm 84:10)
I am getting a new roof made of shingles now, but my Heavenly Father is already building and preparing a place just for me, a place that will never be damaged by fire or wind or rain or hailstones. I have His word on it. Jesus said in John 14:1-3,
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.”
yes, this house I live in now, will eventually fall apart and crumble away. But I will dwell in the house that God builds forever. He is my fortress, my strong tower. He is my dwelling place even now.
“For in Him we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
sincerely, Grace Day