Lord my Refuge
Psalm 91:9 (H4268 )
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet 14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.
Reviewing the many different compound names that we have looked at so far in our little overview of God. The greatest part of them seem to be roles of His that are active: redeemer, creator, savior, provider, judge, etc. We now come to an attribute of God's that is passive. He is a refuge for us. A refuge is not something that is active. I love the Psalm above: He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Casting a shadow is not something we choose to do or not. It is just an inherent function of being out in the sun and not being transparent. . .
Have you ever needed protection and found a refuge? Can you remember your relief? Can you remember how grateful you were at finding shelter? Maybe twenty or twenty-five years ago a friend and I were out on a wonderfully pleasant summers day golfing at a little course up in Centreville, Michigan. Before we realized what was happening, the day changed very quickly from gentle peacefulness and warmth, to a most dramatically violent day. Without our being aware of it a very nasty and quite violent storm blew up right on top of us. We were way out on the furthest reaches of the course, a long ways from the clubhouse and that's not a good place to be with strong wind, lots of trees, lightning, and hail all around you. I recalled a little shelter, a refuge just a few hundred yards away or so and we raced for that. We arrived right at the moment that the wind came roaring through the little valley we were in. The rain was sheeting and blowing horizontally. Hail was banging, hugely loud. It was like we were in some huge microwave and off the roof of our little sheet metal lean-to the popcorn kernels were exploding just above our heads. Lightning followed, with no pause, immediately by crashing thunder was on every side. It wasn't much, the little shelter we were in, but it took the brunt of the storm. It kept us out of the wind and rain. It kept the hail from us. If it did nothing more it made us feel more secure from the lightning. We weren't there long. They actually sent a van out to drive across the course and pick us up and bring us back to the clubhouse. The van wasn't there when we needed it. The little refuge was and I remember how grateful I was for it.
I golfed at this little course a number of times after that day. My thoughts of that little lean-to were forever changed. Now whenever I was on that course, in the back of my mind, I always kind of knew where that little refuge was. On other days, on other courses I was more aware of the importance of a little place of shelter. I never forgot the importance of having a safe place in a storm. . .
The refuge was there all along. It had been built for just such a purpose. The storm came up so very quickly. There wasn't time to run to the clubhouse. If you didn't know where the little shelter was, you were out of luck. You needed to know, exactly where to go to find safety. You needed to have knowledge of the shelter ahead of time. Once the storm started was not the time to start searching for a shelter.
Many times since that summer day long ago, I have needed shelter and found it in God. I think I'm getting better at it, but in the beginning when I first started walking with God, I would forget. The first gust of wind, or the first lightning bolt would stike close by and I would start racing around looking, trying to find shelter before remembering the refuge I have that's never very far away, in my God.
I can remember a few years ago, things weren't going well at work. Lots of feelings, upset, frustrated, maybe a little anxious, angry over some things that were going on. In my mind, I was kind of racing around, trying to figure out what to do. Maybe in a panic that's too strong a word, but very much in a quandry, upset, tense, very very frustrated. . . When I suddenly realized, it came upon my mind that this is not the source of my happiness. . . This is not how I am justified in my life. Regardless what happens here, I am loved, I am valued. He knows exactly what I am going through and He loves me!!! He is right beside me. All this other junk just doesn't matter . . Immediately after thinking these words, after seeking and finding refuge in my God, a sense of peace, strength, contentment. . . I don't know. . . on and on. . . good things filled me up. In just a very few moments, I went from being in the midst of a storm to a place of peace and safety. I found refuge in God. I had forgotten my place of strength. I had allowed my secret place of safety to get out of sight for a little while. . . but I came back and it. . . and He was waiting for me. There is no place like the loving arms of God. . .
Thank you God
Thank you for the refuge that is never far away
Please Lord, Please help me not forget my refuge
Thank you My God. . .
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Lord my Refuge