Archive for March, 2016

Storehouses for the Soul

The weather man, who is rarely at the center of the news, always becomes the highlight when bad weather may be approaching. Everyone tunes in or scrolls through to find out the latest forecast. Will there be a storm, snow, ice or maybe a mix? For my kids, the most important question was always the same. Will schools and workplaces close?

In our small southern town, this news is big news. Everyone tries to predict how bad it will be. For those who aren’t from the South, the trips to the store to stock up on milk, bread and other supplies seems rather absurd. To those from around here, however, this is just a chance to stock the pantry with everything you might want or need. Just in case.  Because, if the snow really comes, and we have all that we need, then we can fully focus on cuddling like a mama bear with her cubs safely nestled in her cave.

Our stocked fridges and pantries are just storehouses. And, storehouses ensure safety and provision during a season of limited resources, limited mobility or even drought. Since no mom wants to think about the possibility of not having enough for their family, we do what we can to be ready for whatever may come.


But storms come in many different ways. At some point, we know that the day of not enough is likely to come in one form or another. Even if we never have to cope with a shortage of physical provisions, most mommas know they will encounter something that threatens to tax them emotionally or spiritually. When that day comes, we soon find out that in order to survive we will need to rely upon the reserves we have within us and the support we have around us.

Thankfully, God’s word reminds us that He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. We need not fear if the earth gives way, the mountains are moved, the waters roar and foam, or the mountains tremble. (Psalm 46:1-3) God will preserve His people when they seek Him for shelter. But, being able to lean into this truth and other hope-filled promises means that we must know it or stored it at some point. The words of hope we stockpiled from regular time spent with God offer us the nourishment we need now. These truths literally become food for the soul.

Many years ago, a dear friend encouraged me to ask God to give me three to five words that sum up a sermon or a main point in the Scripture or lesson I am studying. These become the truths, promises, or descriptors of God that will travel with me throughout my day. Sometimes I write these on a card, in a journal, in the margin of my bible or even on my hand. Throughout the day, I utter them under my breath. Often called breath prayers because they can be spoken in one breath.

This practice has repeatedly helped me cling to a specific truth God has revealed to me that day. Sometimes the words are requests like, “Lord, be my helper today.” More often they are a short summary of a verse or passage. Here are a few from the last week or so of my time with God.

Wait for the Lord.

You surround me.

For your name’s sake, you lead and guide.

I am redeemed.

The Lord is my confidence.

Seek His wisdom.

On days where the rhythm remains the same and nothing but humdrum happens, I have to actively remind myself of the precious provision I hold in my hand. But, when the beat is broken and a battle arises before me, these power packed portions of Scripture offer the emotional and spiritual nourishment I need to cope with the conflict. Sometimes, out of the blue, the truths I held onto weeks earlier will flood my mind and keep me from unraveling. Like food pulled from a storehouse during a bad storm, His truths provide us with the sustenance we require to resist temptation, to trust Him and to press on for His glory and His honor.

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! Psalm 119:10-12


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