Written By: Sally Moore
Life is weird. Most of us are old enough to know it, but if you aren’t…well, just give it some time and it will likely get weird for you, too. Weird isn’t necessarily bad or devastating. It’s just strange. And sometimes, what we consider bad or devastating in the moment-with a little mileage and 20/20 perspective we can admit perhaps, it wasn’t as horrid as originally thought. With an honest look behind, we may see that incident merely set us on a different path or caused us to let go of something. Maybe it caused us to grow up. Life experience is just that- Experience. Sometimes it’s marvelous, other times it’s a predictable grind but you can depend on it: Frequently, life is peppered with weird transitions.
This summer, my little mountain town of Lake City, Colorado was bracing for potential flooding. Not the “Oops, someone left the bathtub on,” or “Uh-oh, the river is rising.” Because we had experienced a horrendous and unprecedented avalanche season accompanied by huge amounts of late season snows, all the experts predicted the inevitably rising temps would naturally bring lots of snow melt- but that’s not all. Tens of thousands of sheared off trees, dirt, snow and boulders were said to be waiting to head down-steam and into town.
Everyone was told to sign up for electronic CODE RED warnings to stay abreast of the potentially dangerous conditions. Emergency Siren systems were installed atop town buildings. Weekly Public Information Meetings kept the townsfolk fully informed but also wired and worried. Our tiny town is the county seat of the most remote county in the continental United States and home to only 750 registered voters. Nothing ever happens there-it’s a rule! This situation was weird and grew weirder by the day!
Emergency crews removed as many downed trees as they could and sandbags-large and small were installed around every historic building and at risk property. A State grant was hastily procured to pay for removing an old dam left over from mining days- which they feared would create a choke point, become clogged, and send backed up waters into town from different angles.
Experts from every agency under the sun sorted out the problem and strategized backup plans for their back up plans. Waiting was hard. Cars were packed for evacuation but everyone watched the depth and pace of the runoff in the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. Waiting and wondering if we should soldier on, working and planning community activities and summer events- or just go ahead and file for bankruptcy now and be done with it.
It doesn’t matter where you are living your life. Maybe your weirdness isn’t floods replete with avalanche debris—maybe your marriage is falling apart, perhaps you are battling cancer or are fearful for your prodigal child. Maybe finances, or lack thereof, are your big bug-a-boo. Perhaps someone has betrayed you; perhaps sweet, supposedly Christian people didn’t act the way they should have. Maybe a wretched combination of that entire list has completely taken the wind from your sails and left you questioning your faith. It happens.
Any portion of life can get weird, CODE RED scary or downright terrifying. One ring of the phone or the opening of an email is often all it takes. Christian apologist and author, Dr. Francis Shaeffer posed this very conundrum in his iconic book, How should we then live? What are we to do when the life’s log jams and muddy waters come barreling through and knock out our personal bridges? The answer is Positional.
Though it often is- our faith should not be dependent on a clean bill of health, a faithful, loving spouse or a complete lack of stormy weather. You can be sure the forecast will hold a coming storm. Until we get to heaven there will always be the potential for a CODE RED on the horizon. Your faith, safety and steady course however, depend only on your location.
Psalm 91 speaks eloquently to this. “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty….He is my refuge and my fortress: My God in HIM will I trust.” That’s the only Higher Ground that matters- no matter the nature of your current flood.
Are you abiding in His shadow? Are you sheltered with the proper protection? Verse 4 assures readers, “He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings will you trust:” His truth will be your shield and buckler.” These are declarative and authoritative promises based on where you hang out. It is your decision where you choose to stand: Protection through proper positioning!
This one short chapter tells us if we make Him our refuge and habitation- then no evil will befall us…no plague will come near our dwelling. Pestilence, as well as the demonic activity, referenced in verse 13 is under our domain, to be handily vanquished. Think about what this is saying- it should totally rock your world!
Verse 14 says the Most High God has set his love upon us! Consequently, we are delivered and set on high- why? Because of this positioning with Him. Amazing!
In verse 15 we learn that when we know our positioning, then we have a powerful partner in any sort of trouble! God is telling us that we always have him as our shield-refuge-and fortress. He promises deliverance, long life ….eternal life! And he will show us our salvation. Jesus is our salvation!
The predicted devastation never materialized in Lake City, Colorado this summer. The precautionary steps taken, blessedly, were adequate to take care of the problem. It was, however, a marvelous lesson. Preparation is important. Life can and will get weird, but we have been given powerful promises: No matter how high the trouble or treacherous the waters- if we remain properly positioned, then and only then do we have that safety. When properly positioned we can rejoice in the face of any storm!