Sheltering Families

“Reverence for the Lord gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security.” – Proverbs 14:26

What’s a family for? Here’s a picture to consider: a family is a shelter in storms. A couple of months ago I was out golfing with some friends. While the weather was beautiful when we started, by the middle of the round storm clouds had gathered all around us. Suddenly an employee of the golf course came in a golf cart and told us a nasty storm was coming. He picked us up and quickly drove us to a shelter house. Just as we arrived the skies opened up and we experienced one of the most intense thunderstorms I have ever been in. The rain was torrential. The lightening was constant, with close strikes all around us. I love a good storm, but this one was frightening. I was awfully grateful to be in that little shelter house.

Life is tough. Jesus said, “In this world you will have many troubles,” and like in everything else, he was absolutely right. While some days are 72 degrees and sunny, most of us experience some pretty severe storms in life, storms that threaten to wash us away. Things don’t always go as planned. And in those tough times we need a place of shelter. We need a place of protection, stability, security.

Proverbs 14:26 says it well: “Reverence for the Lord gives a man deep strength; his children have a place of refuge and security.” Refuge and security – that’s what a family is supposed to provide. Our families can’t prevent every storm, but they can provide us shelter – refuge and security in tumultuous times.

Whenever I’ve had a tough day, I know that I can go home and ask my wife, Nancy, to sit on the back porch swing, or take a walk with me, and just let me dump. No matter how hard the day has been, no matter how wet I’ve gotten in the storms of life throughout the day, my family is a shelter, a place of refuge, a place of safety where I can dry off, regain perspective, and find comfort.

The family of God, the Church of Jesus Christ, is meant to serve the same function. The body of Christ is meant to be a shelter in the storms of life as well.

A little over a year ago, a storm of epic proportions tore through the lives of thousands of people in the Gulf region. Thousands of homes were destroyed. And while government infrastructure has struggled to respond, the family of God, brothers and sisters in Christ just like you and me, have become a very real shelter – a point of hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. Many of you have made a phenomenal difference in the lives of broken, hurting and frightened people through your generosity. What an awesome witness to the love the God.

The nuclear family – and the family of faith – are designed to be a shelter in the storms of life.

Bringing It Home
1. Whenever the family of God serves as a shelter in the storms of life it brings glory to God. Who can you reach out to this week?
2. Who in your family or church has served as a shelter in a storm? Send them a note of thanks today.

Lord Jesus, ultimately you are our shelter and our strength in difficult times, but you have chosen to extend your love and grace through the lives of those who belong to you. Thank you for those who have held us fast and provided a refuge during the storms of life. Help us to extend that same gift of grace to others who are barely holding their heads above water. Amen.

Jeff Marian
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Burnsville, MN

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