Where do you go when the tornado sirens start going off? To be honest with you, I tend to run to the den to turn on the television if it isn’t already on…if I even hear them. I’ve been at a church before when they went off and the first place the adults I was with went was to a nearby computer. When I was in High School I remember them going off and my step-brother climbing on top of the roof to get a better look at what was headed our way. But, after that, where do you go? After you know why they are going off? After you know they aren’t just a monthly test or a false alarm? That is why you go to the television or the computer first, right? To verify their accuracy? Our safe place is a bathroom in the middle of our house. I’ve often wondered if it would really be that safe since the hot water heater is directly above us in the attic. BUT, that is the safest place in our house as far as we know.
Before the tornado hit Oklahoma yesterday I was already pondering where to go in a storm. Not just any storm and not just any safe place. I was pondering where we go in the storms of life….
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
I have heard some preachers refer to the place in this scripture as “the secret place.” I decided to look up “the secret place” in BibleGateway and found these scriptures…among others.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
you taught me wisdom in that secret place. – Psalm 51:6
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. – Psalm 139:15
Hmmm. A mother’s womb…the place LIFE is created. The place wisdom is first taught.
Who can hide in secret places
so that I cannot see them?”
declares the Lord.
“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”
declares the Lord. – Jeremiah 23:24
Even our secret places are not secret to Him…
4 One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the [a]beauty of the Lord
And to [b]meditate in His temple.
5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His [c]tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices [d]with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. – Psalm 27:4-6
19 How great is Your goodness,
Which You have stored up for those who fear You,
Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You,
Before the sons of men!
20 You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man;
You keep them secretly in a [a]shelter from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the Lord,
For He has made marvelous His loving kindness to me in a besieged city. – Psalm 31:19-21
And what could be a better secret place than His tent or His presence?
So how do we get there? How do we go to the secret place and remain there? We obviously aren’t going back into the secret place of our mother’s womb to look for shelter from the storms. We can’t go there looking for life.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. – Matthew 6:6
I’ve seen the stories of the places people turned for shelter from the storm over the past 24 hours. Some hid out in bathrooms or closets. Some found shelter under stairways or in basements or storm cellars. Some hunkered down in classrooms or hallways. Some found physical safety in all of those places. Some did not. Many turned to the “secret place” while in those places. I am sure all who turned to the “secret place” found peace and comfort in the midst of the storm. I am sure those who suffered loss will find peace and comfort as they daily return to the “secret place” for safety and security and peace from a different kind of storm.
Thank you Lord for a safe room that no storm can overtake!