Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…


“God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him.  We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in the seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains…”

“Step out of the traffic!  Take a long, loving look at Me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”                                                                                                       Psalm 46: 1-3, 10 (The Message)


The temporal side of my spirit—the side which feels better when I think I have control over the world around me—suspects that the psalmist was sitting in a setting similar to this morning’s calm and blue sky pictured outside my upstairs window.  Even I could write those words in that setting—or could I? 

I wonder. 

I wonder what he was really going through when he was inspired to write those words.  I wonder if he had just heard the oft-used phrase of today, from the local news pundits and prophets of his day, as they looked out at the picture before them…

“Conditions are beginning to deteriorate…”

I wonder if he had ever been through a hurricane like our friends along the East Coast and Northeast parts of our country have gone through this past weekend, with headlines—which I might add those friends probably won’t be reading any time soon—across the country characterizing this latest of nature’s fury as a “storm of the century.”

“Conditions are beginning to deteriorate…”

I wonder if the words of that psalmist were on the lips of the signalman 2nd class of the small tender ship (providing supply and support) in the naval fleet caught in a hurricane at sea, as he radioed from ship to shore the ominous picture before him outside the windows of the control bridge:

“…We have eighty-foot seas with 120 knot winds…we’re taking on water over the bow and have a fire in the engine room.  Sir, we’ve lost our running lights and are in danger of being run over by an aircraft carrier that can’t see in the dark…”

            “Conditions are beginning to deteriorate…”

            Amidst the helplessness and frustration which builds inside me as I realize I am powerless to do anything to stop a storm or fix a condition—having absolutely no control—the psalmist suggests that I should stop, take a deep breath and a long, loving look at the God who is above everything.  And see a bigger picture. 


            In our better moments, we know that the eternal picture—which our relationship with Christ assures us—is the picture we will eventually see.  It’s that big picture of our lives in the scheme of eternity.  What we don’t often take away from the psalmist’s words is that the truth that the big picture is now, in the center of every one of our storms described by the words…“Conditions are beginning to deteriorate.” 

            We’ve all been there before and I know many of you are there now—in the eye of a storm.  We’ve all seen it and been there when conditions begin to deteriorate.   Yet often we never see the storms coming and are blindsided when they hit.  One moment our husband is eating lunch waiting to board his plane for home, the next minute he suffers a massive heart attack.  One moment the picture is calm and sunny at work, the next moment we get our dismissal notice. 

One moment all seems under control, and the next, the collection agency calls.  After a hard day at the office, coming home to what we hope is some relief—our wife says she can’t live like this anymore.  The phone rings, there’s been an accident.  The doctor does her best to wrap cotton around the words that someone you can’t live without isn’t going to make it. 

One moment all is calm and seemingly under control in our worlds, and in the next turn around the bend all heck breaks loose.

            “Conditions are beginning to deteriorate…”

            Yet through it all, the psalmist reminds us, God remains a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need Him.  That’s the big picture.  That’s the eternal side which our spirits thirst for when conditions begin to deteriorate and we are spinning out of control in the everyday moments and storms of our lives.  Remembering that He is always there, calm and in control, when we’re not and can’t be. 

And in the big picture of eternity—the psalmist reminds us that conditions are fine.  God is there not only to comfort us, but to help us, to guide us, to lift and encourage us to a better way and a better day.  It’s all part of the bigger picture.

            May I suggest that as we continue to pray for those in the eye of the storms all around us—and which we may experience in one of our tomorrows—that we claim the eternal picture of it all and take a long, loving look at the God Who is above everything, today, tomorrow, and throughout all eternity.

            It’s a heavenly view of the bigger picture—for all of us, for today, for always.


                                                                                    In His Name—Scott


Copyright 2011.  Scott L. Whitaker.  All rights reserved.