God, our refuge

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Have you ever had one of those days or even whole seasons where you feel cast down inside? There are many reasons for this, including, an increase in work pressures, relationship issues or financial woes. Or, as is the case with me at the moment, it could be the stress of a big, unplanned life change…. We are moving home and it is proving a challenge… as moving generally does.

I realise I have a lot to be grateful for and my “stress” does not even begin to compare to the troubles billions of people around the world have to face every day, living in unimaginable poverty. In comparison, I’m living the life of the elite here in the UK.

However, things being as they are, I am stressed today and feeling a little low. As I sit on this train on the way home from a long day at work, the scripture that comes to mind is Psalm 61:1–4… it reads:

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah

One of the themes of the book I’ve spent last year writing is “Place” and in particular safe and sacred places. As Human Beings, we need somewhere to run to when we feel like the walls are all closing in, the water is rising and the onslaught of our enemies (what or whoever this represents for us) feels unbearable.

The Psalmist is keeping it real, he is not always ok, sometimes he feels tired, overwhelmed or faint. That’s why I love the bible, it’s not full of maxims and lofty super spiritual talk, it is real, practical and full of truth for each of us. The writer of the psalm has had experience wth God and in this troubled time, remembers that God has been his refuge before and will be again.

It is such a comfort to know that God himself is our safe place, our sacred or protected place. He puts us up on a rock of safety that is too high for us to climb to ourselves, far above the waves that cause us so much stress.

I’m encouraging myself with that reality today and encourage you to do the same. Seek refuge from the storms of life in God, know that he loves you and by his personal presence and grace has prepared a place of protection and assurance for you in Christ… a place you can retreat to in prayer and fellowship with him today.

You can find out more about the importance of place in my book Sacred Places.

 

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