“But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat…”
Like, really soaked.
I’m not in a pool. I’m not at a beach.
I’m working on my landscaping project, and I’m sweating up a storm.
In fact, I’m feeling rather – odd, come to think on it. Not just drippy. Really, really, really hot.
My face is red and puffy.
My hands are swelling.
I’m light headed.
I move to the shade. I sit down and take a breather. I drink greedily from my water bottle.
I guzzle – bottoms up.
Too little, too late.
The temperature is over 30 degrees Celsius and I’ve been working too hard. I know I need to cool off fast.
I head for the air conditioning. I soak a cloth in cool water and wash my face and neck. I wash back a tall glass of V8 juice.
My face is still beet red.
A shower, as cold as I can handle, and my feet up in a chair in a cool room finally help me feel comfortable.
It takes time, but I’m not feeling quite so ‘off’ anymore.
That was a close one.
I’ve just learned a new limit, and it’s a valuable lesson. We don’t usually get days this hot in these parts. Maybe a few days in the summer, but never three weeks in a row. It’s a new situation entirely, and I just got schooled on how my body responds to heat.
And I get to thinking…
The water, the air conditioning, the V8 and its electrolytes, the cool cloth, the refreshing cold shower – those all felt good. They saved my bacon. They revived me when I had almost blown my radiator.
I want to remember that feeling of being pulled back to health from the brink of disaster, because that is exactly what God promises to do for me when I’m burning up with spiritual heat stroke.
A shelter from the heat…
You know. When the pressure is on and things are heating up. When there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what needs doing. When pain comes knocking. When the news is all bad and the prognosis even worse.
As in, a way to keep the realities of the situation from causing you to go up in smoke. A means to provide calm in a tense spot. A foundation to cling to when everything else has burned to a crisp.
Don’t you want that?
A place to run to that will shade you from relentless rays?
I sure do.
Turn to Jesus when life causes you to overheat with me?
Father, there are so many reasons to blow our tops and get hot under the collar! Help us to remember that You are a shelter from those things that threaten to burn us and destroy us. Teach us our limits and call us to Yourself for the support, resources , and cooling comfort of Your presence. Amen.