“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ ” Psalm 91:1-2

We used to live in a home with a windowed back porch that ran the length of the house. It was a great play area for our kids. When the weather was warm, we opened the windows and enjoyed a wonderful breeze. Our kids’ favorite thing, though, was to watch storms from the porch—with mom and dad present, of course. All of us would sit encompassed within the safety of the windowed fortress and watch the torrents of rain run down the windows while we remained safe and dry. That is until the raging winds or tornado siren drove us into the security of the house. Thank God we had a back-up plan!

Weather-related storms are fascinating to watch—from a safe distance, that is. Programs on the Discovery Channel or movies like Twister allow us to get close enough to danger without fear of harm because we are observing within the safety of our own homes. Push the power button on the remote and the storm disappears.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life’s storms could be treated the same way? We may not have an “on/off” button to control the storms, but we do have a choice where and how we observe. Hands down, the safest place to be during a storm is in the most secure shelter. That’s why God said if we “dwell” (abide, remain) within His shelter, we will “rest” (sleep, be at peace) in His shadow. He wants us in the house, not on the back porch.

Looking back, I can see how I have treated God as my “back-up” plan instead of my first go-to. I have spent too much time on the back porch analyzing, fretting, and talking to others about my storms. The problem is I emerge knowing more about the storm and what caused it than I do the Protector in the midst of the storm. Isn’t learning something new about God worth going through a storm?

Our daughters are now married with families of their own. One of them lives in a part of the country that is notorious for tornadoes. When the sirens sound, she and her husband calmly lead their children to a safe place where they have prepared a little play area for storm emergencies. They read books and play games while mom and dad wait for the all-clear signal. The children are unaware of potential danger because they remain in the presence of their parents who protect them from harm by leading them to the most secure place. The children are too young and innocent to even know what a back-up plan is. But they trust enough to know that mom and dad would never lead them into harm’s way.

Are you facing a storm? Learn something, go to sleep and wake up refreshed.