The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name, trust in you, for you, O Lord do not abandon those who search for you. Oppression is when cruel or unjust restraints are placed on someone, it also means that someone has something heavy lying on them.
Sometimes we are oppressed from the outside through no choice of our own but merely through circumstances. This oppression is unjust. While other times we are wearing something heavy that we were never intended to wear. Despair, fear, anxiety or doubt has spoken for so long or so loudly that we can barely seem to lift our heads, let alone recognize that these feelings do not come from the Voice of Truth. Either way we are told that the Lord is our shelter in these times. That means that he is a place of protection from all that is dangerous.
We are not told that there won’t be times of trouble but rather when they come, where we are to go. It’s like having an emergency plan, a tornado drill if you will. We know when a storm is brewing and the conditions for a tornado are likely that we should go into an inner room away from any windows or outside walls and “take shelter”. In fact we know this drill so well it has become second nature to most of us. It is publicly announced by radio and television and we often call or text our neighbors to remind or encourage them to
“ take shelter”.
Are we paying attention to what is going on around us? Are we aware of what is going into our hearts and spirits on a daily basis? Are we reminding ourselves and each other of the emergency drill? Where is our place of safety? How do we get there? It can be as simple as stopping everything we are doing and going into “The inner room”. Be still, draw near to your shelter. Let Him be your refuge in times of trouble. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you, ( James 4:8)
The verse goes on to say that “ Those who know your name, trust in you! For you do not abandon those who search for you.”
This is a knowing beyond knowledge of the letters of His name or how it is pronounced. It is a “knowing”. A knowing of who He is and what He is about. It is knowing the very nature of God, that He is loving and kind, that He is almighty, all knowing, over all through all and in all. That by Him all things were made and came into being. It is in “Knowing”, that we can trust that when we go searching for Him to be our refuge, our safe place, our shelter, He will not abandon us. He will stand! Just like when Jesus calmed the stormy sea, when we run in to His arms with the storms of life breathing down our necks, He says “ Peace Be Still”. And it is done.
What is that you say? You can’t find the shelter? The night is dark and the winds are howling and you can barely catch your breath from one storm before another begins. I get you, boy do I get you beloved!!!
This is where we all can help one another! A couple summers ago my daughter and her husband went on a mission trip to Alaska. They took a tiny plane and flew to an island to work with some native children. I was curious about the safety of getting to and from this little island if an emergency arose. They do have bears you know!!
Well, not to worry my daughter said, they have a plan! Even one for night. If there is an emergency at night they all gather at the airstrip with their vehicles and light the way for the plane to be able to land or take off. Wow! What a relief!
They had a plan and the plan was to bring the light to each other so that they could see how to get to the “ Shelter”. And, that is what we must do dear ones! We must be the light-bearers for one another. We must be there to remind each other of the emergency plan. Sometimes I will remind you and sometimes you will remind me. We will remind each other of His name, The Great I AM! We will remind each other of all that means. We will remind each other of How utterly completely faithful He is! We will remind each other to Be still and go away into the inner room and seek the Beauty of HIs face. And when it is a particularly hard, dark and stormy night we will take one another by the hand and we will Praise Him! We will lift up our voices and we will praise Him all the way until the storm clouds have lifted and we can once again see, the Light of Day!