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Praise the Lord who provides refuge from storms

This past week, much of central Virginia was without power, heat and water. We were forced to persevere through cold, dark nights.

This nightmare was brought about by something that seemed innocent and beautiful enough at the time — rain.

Tiny little droplets of rain fell across central Virginia and froze on our trees. These huge trees, many of which had stood for centuries, looked spectacular as they shimmered under that coating. But the weight of all those tiny little drops on their branches was too much, and eventually branches and whole trees toppled under that weight, bringing down power lines and leaving us in the dark.

What an appropriate image of our lives.

Daily we do small, seemingly innocent things that many people think are great. They may even give us temporary pleasure. But God calls them sin, and these acts of rebellion coat us like those strong trees, and eventually they bring each of us crashing down, leaving us lost in the darkness. We may experience that darkness in this world, but if not now, then in the outer reaches of hell. Even more of a nightmare than what we recently experienced.

Left on our own, this experience would have left us out in the cold, but we were not left on our own. What a joy to see neighbors coming out to help clear downed trees from a neighbor’s house. To see people taking in families that had no power. To see strangers delivering hot meals to people who had none. To see organizations opening their doors to offer a place to get warm. To see workers erecting new lines so that the power could be restored. There was refuge for all who wanted it.

Just as God provided refuge from this ice storm so God offers us refuge from the storm of our sin. King David understood this so well. As the king of Israel he believed he was strong enough to weather anything like those trees. But before he knew it, he was crashing down in a storm of sin that included adultery and murder. He was lost in the dark with his sin until Nathan offered him this promise. “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13) He was lost until God offered him refuge from the storm of his sin.

Listen to David, celebrate this truth in 2 Samuel 22:2-3.

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.”

The storms of this world and the one’s we create are too much. Praise the Lord that, like David, we find the refuge we need from these storms in the promises of God.

REV. MATTHEW SORENSON is the pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church. He can be reached at pastor@stjohnsfarmville.org.