You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
Psalm 119:114As I was waiting for the ladies who attend our regular afternoon Bible study session in small rural church on a hillside, I noticed with some trepidation the dark clouds rolling in. My husband and I were about an hour away from home, and still had to travel over dirt roads, through hostile townships, before it got dark.
My misgivings gave way as I greeted each precious eager face and hugged each weary body while the ladies trouped in having walked a ways to reach our meeting destination. Due to the obviously encroaching storm, I asked them if they wanted to continue or just go home before the rain began. These dear ones are so hungry for God's Word that they insisted I began teaching, so I started in on the story of Jezebel, a suitably dark story that seemed to match the rapidly increasing darkness outside.
It wasn't long before strong winds began gusting through the windows, which have no panes, so we were defenseless against the onslaught. I was ready to give up, but my resourceful sisters simply picked up their battered plastic chairs and moved them away from the windows to a more sheltered area of the small room. We resolutely carried on. Then the rains began. We knew immediately because the roof is made of corrugated metal, and the noise was deafening. And we were all getting wet from the many holes where the metal pieces did not completely meet.
Once again, I thought to myself, “Surely they will give up now and I can get home to my nice safe house.” I suggested we close quickly in prayer and continue with the lesson the following week. One particularly strong and sassy granny pointed to the “door” (just the large open hole where a door might someday be) at the tempest, and said, “Where will you go?” I certainly saw her wisdom—it was not prudent to venture outside even a step at that moment! So we moved our chairs as closely together as possible so we could hear each other shout, and to avoid the worst of the incessantly dripping from above us.
As I surrendered my will (yet again!) to the Lord's, I began to relish the adventure, and the joy of persevering against difficult odds, to share God's precious and holy Word together. And hallelujah we finished! And we had a lively and wonderful discussion, and a time of heartfelt prayer afterward. By the time we adjourned, the rain had slowed to a trickle, the thunder was just a distant booming, and the winds had died down to a gentle breeze. What a priceless reminder that He is with us through the storm, and that being in the center of His will is the very safest place to be, no matter the external circumstances.
Yes, John and I made it safely home before a glorious sunset!