March 08, 2022

Singing in the Storm

Isaiah 25:1-12

You have been . . . a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm. . . . For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall. . . .

—  Isaiah 25:4

The old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” can be helpful for teaching kids to remain calm in the face of a bully. Even so, harsh words can have a striking effect on our lives. Unexpected criticism, hateful comments by a supposed friend, or an offhand remark from a family member can cut deep into our hearts and fester. To our shame, we often retaliate with spiteful words of our own.

Isaiah 25 says that “the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.” God’s people had been cornered and overwhelmed by ruthless words. They could not keep going in their own strength.

But the prophet reminds them that God is their shelter in the storm. Isaiah 25 begins with this joyful proclamation: “Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things you planned long ago.” God has planned from the beginning to protect and guide us, giving us hope and a future with him—as well as many blessings in our lives each day.

Maybe you feel trapped in a corner as ruthless words bear down on you. Know that the Lord can be your shelter. He can give you peace, lifting your heart to remember and sing about the great things he has done for you.

Precious Lord, open our mouths so that we can sing your praises. Help us to use our words to bring peace rather than a storm. Amen.

About the author — Jason Zuidema and David Rozeboom

Dr. Jason Zuidema is executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association ( and an elder in the Église réformée du Québec. David Rozeboom serves as chaplain at the Montreal Ministry to Seafarers of the Christian Reformed Church ( The authors thank Kevin Walker, NAMMA director of programs, for editorial assistance.

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