Finding shelter in the storm

Published 7:37 am Saturday, February 17, 2018

By K. Ray McDowell

Isaiah 25:4 (MSG)
4 … you take care of poor people in trouble, provide a warm dry place in bad weather…

 Like so many in our community on that fateful day last August when Harvey flooded our homes I found myself in desperate need of a warm dry place. By the time my family and I were rescued, I had been wet for several hours. An airboat ride in the rain added to the misery.

When we were dropped off on the dry spot beneath the bridge at M.L.K and I – 10 I was chilled to the bone.  At that moment we were told the shelters were full and that “we” had to find a place to go. I recall shivering and looking around at water in every direction, the wind blowing from around the concrete embankment and feeling as helpless as I ever had in my life. I needed shelter…in more ways than one.

Fredrick Buechner wrote, “Beneath our clothes, our reputations, our pretensions, beneath our religion or lack of it, we are all vulnerable both to the storm without and to the storm within, and if ever we are to find true shelter, it is with the recognition of our tragic nakedness and need for true shelter that we have to start.”

As the weeks have unfolded I have come to a new and deeper awareness about myself. I have “always” needed His shelter.  I have “never” been strong enough, good enough, hard-working enough, determined enough, smart enough, talented enough to provide for myself.  It has always been God who has taken care of me…even when I thought I was taking care of myself.

Once the place of “true shelter” is found there isn’t a storm – within or without – powerful enough to take away the “warmth” and “comfort” that only God in Christ Jesus can bring.

K. Ray McDowell is the Lead Pastor of First Church of the Nazarene in Orange Texas.  To learn more about OFCN go to or our Facebook page.