Shelter in the Storm

photo by Phillip Flores on Unsplash

Howling winds and pounding rain woke me in the middle of the night. The “bomb cyclone” hitting California raged outside as I tugged the blankets tight around me. Wide awake now; sleep eluded. I gathered my blankets and tiptoed out to the living room so I wouldn’t wake my husband. Rain slammed the house and windows as I made myself a cup of tea; grateful we still had power. Others were not so fortunate. Continual reports of flooded streets, downed trees, submerged cars and emergency rescues echoed on the weather channel. California needed the rain and some of us even prayed for rain. Perhaps praying specifically might have helped. “Yes, Lord, we need rain—but please don’t bring it all at once!”

As I prepared for the storm and secured outdoor furniture, I worried about Mystic, the feral cat I have been mothering. I found her last spring with a gaping neck wound and have been nursing her back to health, feeding her and providing a place for her to sleep during recent freezing temperatures.

I thought Mystic might want a safe, warm place to sleep, so I placed a small doghouse on our patio. I watched and waited to see if she would use the house, but no matter how blustery or cold it got, she would not go into the house—until this recent storm hit full force.

I tucked her food dish as close to the house as possible so it would protect her from the rain. The wind howled and knocked over a flowerpot. Startled, she jumped in the air and dashed halfway into the doghouse, then seemed to hesitate, savoring that precious moment of security.

Like Mystic, I so often rely on myself when the storms of life hit rather than accept the security and shelter of God’s love and care. God reminded me how self-reliant I am when He is the one who provides the shelter and security I need.

A calm settled before the next wave of the atmospheric river rolled in, so I stepped outside to bring in the empty food dish. I peeked inside the doghouse. Mystic was curled into a warm ball snuggled among the towels and soft blankets. She finally accepted the shelter of love that had been ready and waiting for her. Maybe the storm is what it took to get her there—and just maybe—she feels safe and loved now.  

(photo by Akin Cakiner on Unsplash)

2 responses to “Shelter in the Storm”

  1. So that cat’s in the doghouse. I’m often in the doghouse too – but more the figurative kind. Why is it really that we are often so reluctant to accept the help, love, or shelter offered by others or by God? I guess, pride?

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Cat in the doghouse” Ha! Our previous cat was so large we had to get an actual dog house for him to sleep in. I suppose our reluctance could be based in pride, but I think it might also have something to do with trusting whether God’s promises are true. Can we trust God even if we don’t get what we ask for? God’s ways are not our ways…darn it all. 😉 So, in pride…like a little two-year-old, we say, “I can do it myself.”


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