"...refuge and strength..."
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Isaiah 46:1)
Trouble happens, whether it comes in the form of a freezing frost-covered morning, a devastating earthquake, or the crushing proclamation in a relationship, "I don't love you anymore." When trouble happens we often find ourselves looking for the "why's." The questions are one way that we express the hurt, fear, and confusion that accompanies trouble. Usually, what we need more than "answers" is "refuge."
Sometimes we need physical refuge like my feathered-friend in the photo, but more often we need spiritual refuge. We need some "place" where we know we can find comfort and a sense that the trouble encompassing us is not the final word for life. In the midst of the trouble we need assurance that life will go on, even if at the present moment we cannot glimpse a picture of life on the far end of the trouble. We need to know there will be an "after." Refuge is the "place" where we can find rest from the turmoil long enough so we can continue to do what is necessary as we work our way through troubled times.
The psalmist proclaims how God's daily gift of life is refuge, a promise of the "after." God has seen him through - the good, the bad, and the ugly. In this loving emprace of God's life the Psalmist finds "refuge" - rest from the confusion and hope for an "after." From this same experience of God's love we gain the awareness and strength to proclaim, "God is my refuge and strength..." Then we can offer our warm embrace to others who need "refuge." I pray that God will give me the sensitivity and courage to be a refuge for others. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia
Help save lives! For more information on my new book, "A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression," visit www.survivingteendepression.com.
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