A moonless Texas night had settled on our neighborhood. It must have been a Saturday evening because I remember sitting on the living-room floor with my wife and kids while we folded the church bulletins for the Sunday service. Suddenly, ferocious barking erupted down the street and footsteps thudded up the walkway. Someone pounded on our door. I jumped up, ran to the door, and threw it open. There stood Michael, a friend of my older boys. He was sweaty and breathing hard. He looked like he'd just seen a ghost.
"Let me in!" he pleaded, gasping for breath.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"There's a huge dog. It's after me. It's going to kill me." Michael's body shook as he turned around to look for his assailant.
By now my whole family was at the door. The barking grew louder. We all stared, waiting for Michael's ferocious attacker. As I flipped on the porch light, a tiny dog bounded into view. His bark was bigger than his height! We all burst out laughing.
Now remember, it was pitch dark. Michael thought he was in grave danger because he couldn't see anything. The moment a little bit of light corrected his perception, he changed. He was relaxed and laughing with embarrassment.
At that moment I remember thinking how our perceptions always determine our actions. Michael thought he was in danger; he felt a desperate need to find a safe place. He knew he could take shelter at our house, so he dashed to our door.
We all have times like these. Most people run to God - almost instinctively. Even people who aren't too sure about God. Why? Somehow, we know deep down - or at least hope - that God will be our shelter…
God's Word, the Bible, will enable you to see your situation in a different way. It will flip on the porch light over your soul, so you can see what's really going on and what God would have you do about it. I'm telling you up front that God is the place to run. He is and has always been a shelter, a safe place where people can take refuge. God is real and ready to open His door to all who run to Him in times of need.
-- Chip Ingram in I Am With You Always: Experiencing God in Times of Need