When I was 11 years old or thereabouts, we had a crazy storm season in Kansas. It was May 23, 1994 (my brother’s birthday), and my mom and brother and I had just left our farmhouse to drive into Wichita. We were on the dirt road, and we noticed how green the clouds were. So we turned around and went back to the house and dove into the basement shelter just as the hail started.
I remember being scared. It was my first real experience with a storm that severe. The softball-size hailstones left holes in the roof, punched out windows, and put dents in the ground. But we were safe in our basement, reciting Psalm 23.
I can’t tell you I was honestly rejoicing when that storm hit, but I was thankful we had a place to go to be safe.
Today’s verses are Psalm 5:11-12.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.
When was the last time you actively rejoiced when you were stuck in a storm? And not a Monty Python “there-was-much-rejoicing” kind of rejoicing. I mean full-on, hands-raised, Baptist-roots-ignored rejoicing.
I don’t think I have in a while. I get really focused on everything that’s wrong and what I need to do to fix it, and what I really need to be doing is focusing on who God is and what He’s already done for me.
Rejoicing when you’re hiding is a reaction you have to learn. It’s not easy to look at a tough situation (especially if you feel trapped in it) and praise the Lord. I know I can be thankful for the difficult circumstances I’m facing, but when I’m actually hiding with my head down and my eyes squeezed shut, I don’t feel like rejoicing. I don’t feel like praising God at all.
But that’s what this verse is saying.
God is our refuge. He’s a safe place to hide. And not only will He keep us safe, He gives us reason to rejoice while we’re hiding. He reminds us who He is. He whispers how much He loves us, that He’ll never leave us, that we won’t have to handle life alone.
So even if you’re hiding today, you don’t have to be sad or discouraged. You don’t have to sit in the dark and dread what’s coming. Rejoice! God’s given you a safe place to be until the danger passes. So have a dance party.
You can totally dance in a storm shelter. Believe me. I know. 😉