Sometimes the storm is so large that you need to find a place of refuge. Hurricanes, tornados, and just plain life can send us scrambling for a safe place. In the really BIG storms you find out how strong your place of refuge is.
We’re talking storm survival today on “Mornings with Bishop Robert” — thanks for joining me on the top spot on the internet for beverages with a Bishop. When life’s storms are raging, there’s always a safe place for you here in my study.
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Perhaps you’ve seen the pictures of the lighthouse in Quessant, a small island just off the coast of France. A much-photographed attraction on a rocky outcropping, it was surrounded and engulfed by waves during a winter storm a few years ago. The photos of the 157 foot tower being battered by massive waves are dramatic, to say the least. At one point a huge wave that’s larger than 11 double-decker busses stacked upon one another completely inundates the lighthouse, encompassing it in a wall of seawater. Perhaps the most famous photos of the lighthouse was taken in 1989 when lighthouse keeper Théodore Malgorn stepped outside to see the helicopter at the very moment a mammoth wave smashed into the tower. Realizing that the entire base of the lighthouse was about to be swamped, Malgorn rushed back inside just in time to save his life.
The lesson Malgorn illustrates for us is, quite literally, a critical one — When the wave hits, take refuge!
Today’s verse says GOD IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH, AN EVER-PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE.
When your world is being smashed by life’s waves, the key to surviving the storm is the answer to this question: How strong is your tower?
I’ve learned over the years that the Lord is a stronghold for those feeling crushed by the waves of life, a refuge in times of trouble. The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe. Just pausing in the midst of life’s storms, closing your eyes and speaking His name – Jesus – will re-center your spirit and focus you on the one who is near to all who call on Him. Sometimes He chooses to calm the storm. But at other times He knows the most important lesson we need is to learn that He is with us in the storm; that He will protect us and uphold us as the waves rage around us. He is our tower, and we are safe in Him.
The beauty of the lighthouse in Quessant can be seen as the sun sets in the western Atlantic on a serene evening. But as wonderful as that is, lighthouses aren’t built for sunsets. Lighthouses are built for deep, dark nights when the only thing warning ships off the rocks is the strong and stable beam breaking through the darkness. It’s beauty may be displayed in the glimmer of fading sunlight, but its true strength can only be manifest in colossal storms. That’s when you learn the answer to the question, “How strong is your tower?”
Storms come to all of us. Sometimes smaller, manageable squalls that are uncomfortable, but not overwhelming. We need His grace to weather these storms, too. He says He’s AN EVER-PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE, not a “just give Me a call when the water gets too deep” helper. But into every life will come major storms of epic proportion sooner or later. Painful and destructive, storms that leave scars; where waves smash through the lower windows, rip off the front door, wash away the furniture. (Yes, that’s happened to the lighthouse in Quessant.) That’s when you appreciate the strength of the refuge, and how well-built the tower itself is! Since it was completed in 1911, no storm has been able to be its victor. The lighthouse in Quessant stands today, its battered walls a silent testimony to its solid foundation and unconquerable strength.
Our God is like that. So long as we take refuge in Him, we are safe and protected.
There’s one more thing you might find interesting about the lighthouse in Quessant. Do you know from where it gets the power to shine a beam so bright that it can be seen from 25 miles away? It’s solar powered. That’s right, it gets everything it needs from the sun.
By the way, so do you. S-O-N. Jesus Christ, the SON of God.