One of my favorite places to go as a child was to my maternal grandmother’s home. There were many reasons, but one of the most powerful ones was because I always felt safe and protected there. Nanny, as we called her, was also someone that my sisters and I could depend on to listen and regardless of what we might have shared with her, we knew our ‘secret’ was safe and that we were accepted and loved. Many times over the years, until her death in 1997, she provided refuge for me.
Over the years, others have also provided refuge on many occasions – my spouse, my sisters, my children, a special aunt and uncle, an accountability partner and best friend, old friends and my elderly Dad, whose home was a peaceful retreat, an escape from the pressures of the world, until his recent death. At other times peers, bosses, other relatives have provided temporary refuge from the cares of my world.
Refuge – a shelter or protection in time of danger, distress, or difficulty is something each of us will seek many times in our lifetime. We will find this refuge with friends, family members, fellow Christians, or sometimes with total strangers. Most often our need for refuge will be short-lived – a few minutes, an hour, a day when we just need someone to understand, to comfort, or need a respite from the pressures of the world. However, there are times when people may need refuge for a much longer period of time – the homeless, people fleeing from their native countries, those who are seriously ill, or those who fear abuse.
We need earthly, physical places of refuge many times but more often we are in need of spiritual refuge – the ultimate in feeling secure, protected, and at rest – a place where we can lay down our opinions, our passions, our drive for success, our broken hearts, our tender emotions, our fears, our anxieties, our troubles. We can only find this refuge with our Lord.
“Not only are the will and the passions to be bridled and silenced, but anxieties also. We are in relationship with God; in all things He is our refuge; and events do not disturb Him. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows everything, He knows it beforehand; events shake neither His throne, nor His heart; they always accomplish His purposes.”
Whatever may be happening in our life, we can rest in the assurance that God is our refuge. He will always provide a safe harbor for us if we will only go to Him. He will wrap us in the arms of His Holy Spirit as we read scripture, as we pray, or as we meditate on Him. As we come close to Him seeking His refuge, we will feel His presence as He assures us of His love and His understanding.
God’s love – God’s peace – God’s comfort
Our strength – Our Help – Our refuge
“God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.”
Father God, as we face the trials of this earthly life, may we be mindful that You and You alone are our refuge, our strength, our ever present help in any circumstance. So often we get caught up in the emotion of our situations and find ourselves solely seeking earthly refuge forgetting to take refuge in the safest harbor of all, Your arms. May we pause in the chaos of our lives to experience the refuge that you so graciously offer us.
We thank you for your gifts of help, strength and refuge that we find in and through your son, Jesus Christ.
In Jesus’ Name,
Written by Marilyn Hoeth, 12/02/06
© Marilyn Hoeth, reposted in faithfulnibbles in WordPress, 4/19/2012. If you desire to reblog or copy, please feel free to do so, however, please include my copywrite symbol, name, date. Thank you.