The Shelter of God’s Presence
“Let me dwell in Your tent forever. Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.”
For more than 20 years now, Israel has required that all new construction include a safe room to protect people from enemy rocket fire. When a warning siren sounds, people dash into their shelter to hunker down behind a heavy steel door and surrounded by about five inches of concrete.
In 2012, an Israeli couple emerged unhurt from the safe room of their top-floor apartment and discovered the rocket had made a direct hit on their home. Their apartment was totaled, but, as a soldier later noted, the books hadn’t even fallen out of the safe room’s bookcase. The rocket tore through three of the apartment building’s six floors but caused no serious injuries because everyone was in their safe rooms.*
God is our safe room. He is our shelter when life’s rockets hurtle our way.
The psalmist David ran to God’s presence often, seeking shelter from the distresses he faced. In it, he found such peace and safety that He longed to dwell there forever. We have God’s presence with us always, yet we can easily forget to turn our attention to recognize that we can come under the shelter of His wings. Too often, we spend needless moments, hours or even days, chased by anxious thoughts and concerns. When at last we run into the shelter of our ever-present God, we find that either our troubles have bypassed us or God equips us with what we need to face and overcome them.
On this second day of Sukkot, meditate on some ways God has come to your rescue in the past, how He has kept you safe or strengthened you amid distressing circumstances. Thank Him, and rejoice over the protective, sheltering power of your loving God.
“For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His sukkah, conceal me in the shelter of His tent, and set me high upon a rock.”
“But let all who take refuge in You rejoice! Let them always shout for joy! You will shelter them and they exult—those who love Your Name.”
Dwelling with God amid COVID-19
In the height of the pandemic, most of us were ordered to “shelter in place” in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Throughout the re-openings and resurgences, some around the world are experiencing renewed restrictions and lockdowns. You may feel isolated, spending so much time in your home, but know that you can be hunkered down with God. He is your shelter and refuge from the discouragements of life. He is your cheerleader and strength giver for facing the challenges and sometimes wearisome inconveniences of this COVID-era lifestyle. Know that you are not alone. The shelter of His presence is ready to receive you, but you must say yes to His invitation into His presence. His mighty wings will then guard you with His power, love and peace.