I don’t know about your vocabulary but in mine the word “refuge” is not on my commonly used list. But it has recently caught my attention as in “God is our refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble”. Psalm 46:1
So just what does that make God to us?
Webster’s dictionary describes a refuge as:
- shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.
- a place of shelter, protection or safety
- anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief or escape
Hmmmm …. sound like anything you might need during the course of a day, or maybe even, every day?
How about when the world just doesn’t make sense, like a bombing at the Boston Marathon; or when someone you love becomes ill or dies; or your health fails acutely or chronically; or your marriage fails; or there is more month than there is finances?
How about when you feel old? What is feeling old anyways – a longing for our youth to be renewed. At least that’s what it is for me. God knows that desire is in each of us. How does God know that? Because since before time began He purposed you and purposed me to be eternal and vibrant. It’s the way He wired us, to be eternal beings.
He wants us to be free of the paralyzing cynicsym that can come with the time that we spend in this world. I’m not espousing being so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good, but rather having that child-like quality that “it’s going to be OK”, regardless.
That’s why Jesus tells us to come to Him as children. He wants us to be filled with that feeling that life is good, promising and full of possibilities, full of hope. Why? For the same reason as the little boy in “Miracle on 34th Street” answered the judge as to why he believed in Santa Claus … because my Daddy told me so. All that wonderment and joy that fills a child as they engage their world even though they don’t understand it and have no idea what lies ahead; it’s been promised to you and to me because our Heavenly Father has what eye has not seen, what ear has not heard and what has not entered into anyone’s heart yet for those that love Him (1 Cor 2:9).
But the choice is ours of where we put our focus. We can focus on what isn’t (fill in any lack in your life here, including life not making sense) and demanding understanding; or, we can focus on what is, i.e., being thankful for what is true and real in this moment and that powerfully opens the gateway for God to renew our youth as the psalmist describes it below:
Who satisfies your mouth
[your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation]
with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s
[strong, overcoming, soaring]! (Ps 103:5 Amplified)
The one who has made this promise to you and to me is the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth who does not weary, does not grow faint (Isaiah 40:28). So I’m thinking He’s good for it 🙂
Just what is true and real and does not change from moment to moment – God is Merciful, Gracious, Slow to Anger and Abounding in Loving Kindness and Truth (Exodus 34:6); His faithfulness is our shield and protection (Ps 91:4); He is able to take what the enemy purposes for evil and turn it to His good purpose (Gen 50:20); and He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).
So I am back to where I started … “God is our refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) Any moment, any problem, it is unconditional. He is there to be our aid, relief, escape, protection, shelter and safety. The choice is mine and yours whether to take the refuge being offered or not.
As for me, I’m choosing to be a refugee … and that’s a very good thing.