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Refuge from the Storm - Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

“For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a rain storm against a wall.”
- Isaiah 25:4

I have been waiting for a night like last night (Tuesday) for quite some time. On the 24th day the Lord brought to fruition what I had been hoping for over the past couple of week. I believed the Lord would provide a small group of people to come to the tent for a special and memorable night. And what a night it was! First of all ~ Dallas County was in the midst of a tornado watch. Again. I can’t tell you how many rain storms and thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches we have been “fortunate” to experience, but it is becoming a regular occurrence during this 40-day tent revival. So immediately, many were concerned with what we should do. Should we stay in the tent? Should we go across the street in the college chapel? Should we even have the service? Well, the storm was definitely coming through Dallas during the time of our worship service. And as the “director” I felt responsible for those that would come inside the tent. Therefore, I walked across the local college to get confirmation for the use of their chapel. Many outside sources were suggesting that we move inside. They thought it would be wise to be on the safe side. I couldn’t agree more with the safety concern. Therefore, I walked around the fenced-in college, looking for someone to grant us approval to move our service inside. Funny enough, I found the individual who was able to grant approval. He responded so graciously without hesitation…yet, I had no peace inside.

As much as the weather reports showed that we could be facing a major storm, I didn’t want to go running into a safe and comfortable environment. I felt that we needed to “fight” out the storm as a group. I believed that we needed to endure the heavy rains and high winds as ONE. But I needed confirmation from the Lord, so I went and asked the evening speaker and a respected woman of God for prayer. Immediately, after we had prayed I knew we were to stay INSIDE THE TENT and a spirit of calmness came over me.

Just as the service was to began, I announced to the people what our evacuation plan was in case of an emergency. The building across the street was open for our use if we needed a place to stay dry. This announcement was made to reassure others that we had a back-up plan. But in all reality, I didn’t think we would need the building. Why? Because I believed that God would be our defense. He would be our refuge. He would protect us. It says in Isaiah 25:4, “For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; for the breath of the ruthless is like a rain storm against a wall.”

Please don’t read this and think, “My oh my, how irresponsible. You decided to stay in a tent with 80-90 mph winds.” Because that was my initial thought. In fact, the next day the local electric company declared the storm as the 5th worst in Texas history. But regardless of the situations, sometimes we need to operate based on how the Holy Spirit guides. It might not make sense. It might not look right. But there are certain times in our lives, when we need to solely place our trust in God. I am not asking for others to be ignorant to dangerous scenarios. But when God calls each of us to do something, we ought to listen. And literally, we listened…specially to the thunder that served as our surround sound. And to the wind that provided plenty of noise as it swirled around the 9,000 square foot tent. Don’t forget the lightning that provided the light show. It was quite an evening.

As the storm drew closer, we stopped singing the worship songs and gathered as one group holding hands. We opened it up as a time of prayer. And man, it was awesome! The Holy Spirit was most definitely present. As the water seeped in the tent, and soaked our feet, we continued on. The generator kept the lights on (especially when the neighborhoods lights went out, including my apartment complex), so we were still able to see the beauty of the body of Christ coming together. We were all placing our trust in God. He was our refuge. He was our defense. And even as one of the volunteers looked at me and said, “I am scared,” he knew that he was supposed to be there. The young volunteer wasn’t leaving. Looking back already, I am so thankful for the people like the volunteer who stuck it out with me and the 100 people who decided to brave the weather and still assemble together. It was a break-thru night for the revival.

As a side note, we had the tent rental company come out the next day to assess the tent and make sure everything was okay. Just double check the poles and the canvas. As he was walking around, he said, “You know 20 miles away, there was a tent just like this in a nearby suburb. It was completely destroyed and is of no more use.” At that moment, Psalm 91:1-2 came to mind, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!'” Praise be to God!
- klm
" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan