Places of Refuge
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
My soul can easily go to places of refuge that lack real peace, protection and refreshment. Worry is one of the suitors of my soul especially when I feel financial pressure at work or home. What if lose my job? What if my friend doesn’t understand? What if my health doesn’t allow me to work long enough to care for my family? Like a confused dog, worry causes me to chase my tail in circles only leading to dizziness and confusion as the outcome. Worry is a weak refuge, but trust in God trumps worry’s waste of time. He is our strong tower that towers over our fears.
Self reliance is another refuge that bids my attention when times are hard. My soul seeks to hide behind my hard work and determination, instead of dependance on my heavenly Father. My frantic pace forgets to go to God for His rest, wisdom and resources. Unless I fight for an unhurried rhythm of work, I run right past my ever-present help--my heavenly Father. My energy alone leaves me exhausted and lonely, but the Lord’s refuge replenishes and reminds me of His personal support. The refuge of self-reliance lacks the Lord’s loving help and creativity.
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still" (Exodus 14:14).
Self pity is a refuge that feels good in the moment but becomes an incubator for anger. We get mad and say to ourselves, “If only other people would see things my way, the world would be a much better place to live.” We feel sorry for ourselves because we feel like no one really understands us. We are wise to remember it's not about us but God. Our refuge is in Him. Self pity gives way to death of self and life in Christ. We look outwardly to help others, when inwardly we’ve been helped by the Lord. He is accessible and available to strengthen our souls.
How is your soul? Does it feel similar to a Waffle House hash brown: scattered, smothered and covered? Scattered, because so many people are pulling on you? Smothered by your own unrealistic expectations or covered by Christ? Fortunately in each moment of the day, no matter how loud and loony, we can by faith create a sanctuary for our soul. We may close our office or bathroom door so we can close our eyes and look to the Lord in prayer. Perhaps we take a walk, so we can walk with our Savior and be empowered by His presence. God’s refuge is always near.
“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are my loving refuge and strong tower. Thanks for always being accessible and available.
Related Readings: Psalm 142:5; Isaiah 33:16; Jeremiah 16:19; Nahum 1:7; Lamentations 3:57