The term Shelter in Place did not echo from the mountains of Central Pennsylvania when I was raised in the valley. It was not sounded in the years of schooling for my children. Sadly, however, Shelter in Place is a “must know” concept in the era of my grandchildren. It is noteworthy to me that I stated that my next blog would be called Shelter in Place two days before the terror invasion in Paris. How timely. My oft repeated words are fitting: The Lord knows!
The police directive to Shelter in Place is a warning that violence is at hand. Our increasingly volatile world demands such caution to be exercised. Shelter in Place signifies the imminent possibility of danger and the need for finding refuge from those who would willfully snuff out human life. While it is true that this public safety alert is new to our present realm, it is not a new message for God. He has been bidding His created to Shelter in Place since the beginning of time on earth. God is our Shelter. The psalmist knew God as his shelter: 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’ (Psalm 91:1-2)
God is our Divine Protector. Everyday, all day, all night dangers and risks loom around us. They can be as apparent as gun violence and as secretive as a lurking disease. Our need for God’s protection and presence comes to us in our homes, our travel, our schools, our public places and even in the need to shield our personal identity.
As a young mother, I vividly recall the nights when my physician husband was called out at all hours of the night. Every time, I had to make a choice either to be fitful with concern for his safety or to trust God with my husband. I knew he was fatigued and stressed about what he might find when he reached the hospital. I knew he was traveling into a characteristically unsafe area. And I didn’t want to even think about life without him. Thank God I knew something greater than all my fears and nighttime thoughts. I had committed a Bible verse to memory: On my bed, I remember you; I think of you in the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 63:6-7). I Sheltered in Place in the Lord.
Reflect during the next seven days on the times when you need God’s covering and refuge. Listen for God as He bids you to Shelter in Place in Him. Days and nights of travail are sure to be on the horizon for each one of us. Trust in the One who has your eternal back. I earnestly pray that you will never hear the shout Shelter in Place on this earth. Even more, I pray that you will Shelter in Place in Him daily. Let us sing together in the shadow of (his) wings—remembering always that the Lord knows!
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.
OPP (opportunity for action): Teach your children how to live in the presence of God. Allay their fears and concerns by incrementally exposing them to the precepts of the Bible. Start with Hebrews 13:6 The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. Help them commit it to memory—T L i m h, I w n b a-f (The Scripture Code…unlocking spiritual wealth by DeeDee Cass). Make God known as a shelter and refuge in your home. Compile your own list of scriptures that build your faith and give you confidence before the Lord. Let your family observe you as you Shelter in Place.
Recommended reading and memorization: Psalm 91