When You Feel Lost in the Crowd
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalms 145:17-18
In sea of unfamiliar faces surrounding me, the room begins to close in pushing feelings of panic up into my throat. Just as the feeling of being overwhelmed and lost begins to rise in my chest and drown me, I hear it. The distinct familiar sound of her voice. I would know it anywhere. Its tone. Its pitch. Its volume. Its familiarity. Its comfort. Its security. The voice belongs to my closest friend and at the sound of it I know I’m not going to drown lost in the sea of unfamiliar people. At the sound of her voice, I know I am safe. I know I am known. I know I am not alone.
No matter how big the crowd is there are certain voices in our life we can pick out no matter what. Our mothers. Our fathers. Our best friends. Our spouses. Our children. Psalms 145:17-18 tells us God is the same way with our voice. In spite of being in charge of the universe and hearing billions of voices a day, He knows our voice. God knows my voice. Did you catch that? My voice. He hears ME in the middle of a crowd. He hears ME in the midst of his busy. He hears ME no matter how many people are talking to him. He can find ME in a crowd. And what’s even more important? He hears Me. He listens to Me. He is never far from ME. The same is true for you. God knows your voice and hears you when you call.
I don’t know about you, but I take great comfort in this truth. As a true introvert, my world is easily rocked by new places with unknown people. The presence of one familiar person is all I need to keep from feeling like I am drowning. Just like hearing the voice of a friend brings me peace in the midst of a crowd of unfamiliar people, knowing that God is close by and will hear me when I call, is all I need sometimes to step out into the unknown challenges that each day brings to me.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
I’m not going to lie, tornadoes terrify me. My years of living in Arkansas filled me with tornado season dread. The changing of seasons with their capricious air temperatures brought about the evil time of tornadoes. I am a western girl. I grew up in the hot, dry desert of Arizona. I had no clue when I moved across the country at nineteen what “taking shelter in the bathtub” meant. I soon learned that the ominous dark clouds with their dripping tails hanging down into the yellow tinged sky below were a sign of dangerous weather to come. If the signs in the sky were coupled with the sounds of sirens, we were to take shelter in the safest, most interior, windowless place in the house. For us, in a house without a basement, safe shelter meant a closet or the bathroom.
Having a safe place to hide in a times of trouble is not a modern concept. Throughout history settled societies have built places where they can take refuge in times of trouble. In ancient days, walls provided protection for the inhabitants of the city. The middle ages ushered in castles and keeps as places of protection. Outdated city walls and castles have been replaced by modern building designs and materials made to withstand a host of apocalyptic events to keep us safe. Although the means of fortification have changed, the purpose has remained the same-to provide a safe and secure place to take refuge when storms come or enemies attack.
Proverbs 18:10 tells us that the Lord is our place of refuge. He is our strong tower. He is our refuge. He is our safe place. When storms come or enemies attack, we are to run and seek refuge in Him. Does this mean that nothing bad will ever happen to me? That no one will ever hurt me?
But, it does mean that no matter what I face, I am not alone. The God who made the universe is on my side. He is with me wherever I go. He is my shelter in times of trouble. He is my source of strength and courage. He is the One I should run to first, when I need help.
Sometimes, my list of worries can be long and I feel overwhelmed by life pressing in on me. In those moments, I often find myself taking my concerns to everyone but God. It’s like I’m standing in an open field when a tornado is coming and I have taken shelter behind a blade of grass when a storm shelter is right in front of me.
God doesn’t promise us a life free of pain or struggles, but he does promise us a safe place to hide when we need it.
I challenge you today to trust God with whatever tornado you face today. Seek shelter in the strong tower of our Savior instead of the flimsy fortresses the world has to offer. He promises to keep us safe.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.