As a global society, we have become all too familiar with what it means to shelter-in-place. The multiple hyphens in this phrase alone remind us of seemingly never ending days quarantined at home—in one place.
By definition, shelter-in-place is the act of seeking safety within the building one already occupies, rather than evacuating the area or seeking a community emergency shelter. Yet for some people, the home they already occupy is not a safe haven.
Home may shelter us from the rain, but not necessarily from the storms of family life.
While seeking safety within the four walls of our own homes may sometimes feel improbable, there is a Shelter in Whom we can still find refuge.
Psalm 31 reminds us of an important truth about God, namely His Presence.
“You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.”
Psalms 31:20 (NLT)
Dear friends, God’s presence is a place of shelter, regardless of where we shelter-in-place.
His presence alone provides safety and protection from those who inflict hateful words and harmful acts. God’s presence has always been His promise—a truth-thread woven from Genesis to Revelation.
Even after banishment from the Garden of Eden, where He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day, God’s intent has always been to dwell with mankind (Revelation 21:3).
Following exile and a miraculous exodus from Egypt, God commanded the Israelites to “set the bread of the Presence on the table before me regularly.” (Exodus 25:30 ESV) The bread, a foreshadowing of Jesus, was to remain in the ark of the covenant, which served as a physical symbol of God’s spiritual presence among them during their wilderness wandering.
God’s presence later filled the temple. Then came the long-awaited day the presence of God became the Person of God in the birth of Immanuel; baby Jesus, God with us.
Jesus became the promise of His presence.
In one of His seven “I am” statements throughout John, Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35 ESV)
The bread of the Presence took on flesh to offer Himself for those who hunger and thirst for garden restoration—to dwell with God in perfect peace.
Through His death, resurrection and ascension, Jesus then sent the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to dwell in us.
The Spirit is the seal, the deposit, the down payment, the guarantee of Christ’s return, the promise of His presence both now and for eternity.
We can shelter-in-His-presence any time and any place because we seek safety in the One who already occupies you and me.
Jesus said in John 15, “Abide in me, and I in you.” When we provide shelter in our temple-like bodies for the One who shelters us, we catch a glimpse of the eternal protection described in Revelation by the King of Kings.
“Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.”
Revelation 7:15 ESV
The Book of Revelation reveals that the promise of His presence is forever.
As we continue to shelter-in-place as needed, let us shelter-in-His-Presence as a necessity!
His promise is His presence.
Therefore, friends, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” (Psalm 105:4 ESV)