Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
Psalm 25:20 NLT
The day appeared calm enough, but Mother Nature soon released her hidden fury.
My brother and I—along with my daughter—set out early for a ten-mile mile hike on the Appalachian Trail. At the five mile point, we planned to set up camp and walk the remainder of the way without our packs.
As we reached our destination, the sound of thunder greeted us. Mountain storms were familiar to us, so we decided to set up camp. Within minutes of driving the last tent stake, we felt the first drops of rain. Then came a torrential downpour with lighting to match. We huddled on our rubber sleeping mats, hoping lightning wouldn’t strike the tall pines above us.
After sitting for what seemed like hours, we tumbled into a trail shelter nestled a mere 100 yards away. Through pouring rain, intermittent lightning, and puddled water, we made it to our refuge where we remained for the next several hours, listening to storm after storm march through the mountains. Though our refuge was only a three-sided shelter, we felt secure.
David’s enemies were numerous—among them lions, bears, Philistines, giants, and even a jealous king. Regardless of who or what they were, David found refuge in a big God whom he trusted to protect him.
I’ve sought refuge in healthy and unhealthy things. At the end of a stressful day, I love taking refuge in a good book. I cherish the times when my wife and I can go to a restaurant alone, without friends or the grandboys. Sitting in our old glider on our back patio in the fall of the year is also nice.
But I’ve also attempted to find refuge in unhealthy things during stressful times. Instead of running to God, I ran to addictions or unhealthy relationships. They brought only temporary satisfaction, along with a foreboding sense of guilt that I was looking in the wrong place.
Where David found refuge is where we should. A healthy relationship with a loving Savior is the only thing that brings satisfaction, contentment, and peace. All other things and people will disappoint. He always loves unconditionally and protects faithfully. Friendships and family can be the icing on the cake, but they can never take God’s place.
Run to God for refuge when times are tough.
Prayer: Father, thank You for being a trustworthy place of refuge when life is stormy—a place that will never disappoint us.