So this week I chose a verse that had jumped out at me from a facebook group, one that spoke into a (relatively) dark day that I was having and brought light. It is one of those “feel good” verses that people often quote when something horrible is happening and they don’t know what to say. I know – I have been that person. But this week I wanted to delve into it a bit more, a bit deeper. I wanted to truly understand it.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1
Firstly, what is a refuge? I am not sure any of us have needed a refuge properly. Perhaps we have heard of local women’s refuges where women running for domestic violence can go, or maybe you think of all the refugee stories hitting the headlines at the moment. The definition is quite general – “a shelter or protection, from the weather or danger”. I guess we can all think of times when there has been a heavy rain storm and we have found “refuge” under a bridge, doorway, in a shop etc. But have we ever needed to REALLY find refuge from danger?
When it is raining, the refuge keeps all of the rain off you. Although it might be going crazy outside, in your little refuge it is calm. You can watch the storm and wait until it is over or we have rested enough to cope to come out again. What God offers us is a spiritual refuge. The battles in our lives are sometimes just too much, so God gently calls us to come and take refuge with him. With him we can still see what is going on and watch, but we get rest and refresh ready to go back out in it all again or we can wait until things have calmed down a little.
Note: I wrote that first section before receiving the awful news on Thursday morning that our house is in line to be bull dozed to make way for a revised route of the HS2 railway. (Please read “Mum on a mission is devastated” to find out more)
WOW! God really knows what we need before we need it. I could sort of sense a storm coming, and was slightly concerned when this verse came to mind, and I guess I was right! But having spent the time meditating on this earlier in the week, I knew that whenever I felt overwhelmed by this news I could run to God for refuge. There have been times when the weight of my community’s need to vent/express/find answers has been so overwhelming it has felt like a whirlwind around me. But luckily I can stand in the calm in the middle with my God. There have been times when the uncertainty of our future has scared me, but I have tried my best to run to the certainty of my home in heaven instead.
Undoubtedly I will have ups and down’s in this journey, but I can hold on to the FACT that God is “ever-present” in my troubles. He is not going to leave me to deal with this on my own and his arms are always open if I need to run into them.
I really hope you haven’t had as rough a week as me so please put your musings, meditations and thoughts below. In the meantime here is a bit of bible journaling I did in response to this news:
NEXT WEEK: I have chosen a verse which I am hoping will encourage and inspire me as I go into this challenging time in my community.
“Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with spendour” Isaiah 55:5