God Is Our Dwelling Place
Scripture reveals God as the dwelling place for His children. Psalm 91 in particular speaks of the believer’s privilege of dwelling in the “secret place of the Most High.” God is also referred to as a Rock, Fortress, Shield, Mountain Refuge, and High Tower. God has chosen to reveal Himself with these titles for the sake of His children. He calls believers to trust Him always.
The following meditation illustrates the meaning of God’s protection in a beautiful, yet unexpected way. It is taken from the Names of God Bible, published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing House.
“In the spring of 1998 an F5 tornado roared through Birmingham, Alabama. Learning that a tornado warning had been issued, staff members at Open Door Church herded the kids who had gathered for youth group into the hallway.
Just thinking about tornadoes terrified twelve-year-old Amber Jones. As she huddled next to her twin sister, Ashley, everyone started singing ‘Jesus Loves Me.’
Seconds later someone shouted, ‘Get your heads down!’ That’s when Amber and her sister began screaming for their daddy, the associate pastor. Tearing down the hallway toward them, he dropped to his knees, covering them with his body.
Then came a tremendous roar, like the sound of a thousand jets flying through the hallway. Out in the foyer, they could hear glass shattering and things flying around. The lights flickered and went out. Amber hid her face in her father’s shirt as a powerful wind pushed them into the wall and then tried to suck them out as it changed direction.
After the storm subsided, everyone clambered out the nursery window. Paramedics and ambulances stood ready to attend to the victims. Remarkably, all seventy of those assembled in the church that night survived.
The next morning, Amber and her family returned to survey the damage. Everything for miles around had been flattened. The only part of the church still standing was the hallway-the exact place where Amber and other members of the church had taken refuge.
Amber’s story creates a vivid picture of what it means to find refuge in God – there was first of all her father’s protective gesture, shielding her body with his own, and then the protective walls of the hallway, the only structure to withstand the storm.
Remember Amber’s story the next time you feel threatened by some danger or difficulty. Run to your Father and trust in his strong protective arms. Call on God, and he will be your refuge, your dwelling place, your strong tower, your fortress, and your shield.”
Often as believers we understand God’s protection to mean that He will keep the storm away. Yet as the above story illustrates so well, He often protects His own through the storm. Even if His children die He protects them through the valley. Proverbs 14:32 say: “A wicked person is thrown down by his own wrongdoing, but even in his death a righteous person has a refuge” (God’s Word Translation).