Every moment of each and every day, there is a place of shelter and retreat for those who have entered into relationship with Jesus. In examining the meaning of the word "shelter", I found the following: "Something beneath, behind, or within a person which protects from storms, threats, adverse conditions - a refuge." Living in Arizona, we don't have storm shelters, although wind speeds can be significant during our monsoon season of late summer. Those who live in tornado zones create these shelters not far from their homes. They become a place of refuge and shelter during the raging storms all around them. They often emerge from the safety of the sometimes small, but well-built space to find all which they had once counted on or known to be no longer there. In the storm, they were "kept" in the recesses of the safe place. After the storm passed, they emerged to most often begin the task of rebuilding.
In God's sheltering arms, the task of protection is up to him. He is like those secure walls of the storm shelter, but he is also the one who does the work of rebuilding what must be there in our lives. Sometimes the storms of life seemingly "sweep away" those things which have become the things we counted on the most to give us a sense of safety and security. In the midst of the storm, we come to recognize the only true safe "place" is under the wings of the Almighty! His protection knows no end. His reach cannot be extended too far. His presence forms walls of protection around, even when the storms rage and howling winds roar.
A shelter is of no value if it is just built. It would be like having one in my yard, but never having the need or inclination to use it. Sometimes we might do well to find shelter even when the storms aren't raging! In Arizona, shelter comes in the form of a covered patio, a large shade tree, and a supply of water. The storms we face here are different than those of the Midwest, but are devastating when one has not "sheltered" or found "refuge" during the most difficult and testing of extreme conditions which tax our bodies, minds, and spirits. The storm we face here may not come with the raging winds and roaring commotion, but the building heat and unrelenting long days can take a toll for those who have not learned to find refuge from it.
In life, we can take refuge in a great many things, but none quite shelters in the same way as the presence of God. We cannot hope to "ride out the storm" without the safety of his refuge. When all is in constant turmoil around you, and even when the threat is not fully recognized, the place of profound protection and provision is under the shadow of his wing. As Mr. Wooden said so well, you build a shelter in the relationship you have with Jesus and then you store up for the times of storm - through times in prayer, study of the Word of God, and just "hanging out" with Jesus. Just sayin!