through His Word
A Guest Post by Denise Roberts
Katy here. Today is the first time Denise Roberts has written a guest post for me. She has written for Refresh, and she leads the women's ministry at her church. I know you will be blessed by her post in our Door Post Verses series.
My family moved in 2000 for my husband’s dream job. We left behind best friends and a home we loved. This was not a move I wanted, and I made life very difficult for my husband and children. In the midst of believing that life was unfair, I took refuge in anger and bitterness. Maybe that sounds odd. We often think of refuge as a place of tranquility, peace, beauty, and protection. A safe place for wild animals or birds. A place to ride out a storm.
But isn’t it possible that sometimes we take refuge—seek shelter—in things or people who we think help us feel protected and safe but actually don’t?
My heart was hurting and in the absence of knowing where to go for true shelter, I sought escape and protection in resentment and wall-building against my loved ones. This type of refuge masqueraded as protection against the hurt, but all it really did was cause more isolation.
A refuge is a place we escape to when our situations threaten to overwhelm us. I retreated to anger. Others might seek sanctuary in alcohol or drugs. Maybe you seek to find protection in your work or by staying busy with social activities. All of these present a false sense of security, but they don’t provide true rest.
What if there is a true refuge? Refuge that doesn’t mask pain and hurt? Refuge that doesn’t deny or delay dealing with circumstances? Refuge that really does give us rest and protection from what threatens to overwhelm us?
Jesus invites us into such a refuge when he says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt 11:28-29 NIV 1984) .
I was weary and burdened but through God’s Word I learned I could pour out my heart to him and find shelter from the emotions that threatened to undo me.
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people [insert your name here]; pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge (Psalm 62:5-8 NIV 1984).
We can find help to overcome those things that pretend to give us escape and protection but really only hold us in bondage.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. … For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe (Ps 61:1, 3 NIV 1984).
Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him (Prov 30:5 NIV 1984).
When the Lord is our refuge, we will find shelter, strength, provision, and protection – from whatever our situations are. We won’t need to seek them out in the false imitations. We can declare as the psalmist did:
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation” (Ps 91 NIV 1984).
The end of this passage holds a tremendous promise: because we love the Lord, he will answer when we call, he will protect us, he will deliver us. This is the refuge I found and the refuge available to you.
© Copyright 2017 by Denise Roberts
Denise’s passion is to share the richness and relevancy of God’s life-giving Word at the messy place where life and faith intersect with other women through writing, speaking, and Bible study. She loves being a wife, a mom to grown-up kids, sharing a good cup of coffee with girlfriends, and morning snuggles from her 100 lb. chocolate Lab. Denise serves as the shepherd of the Wellspring women’s ministry at Hillside UMC in Woodstock, GA. Connect with Denise at www.deniseroberts.org and on Facebook at Denise Roberts – Living Holy.
God is our refuge, the character of God, Door Post Verses: Finding True Refuge, Denise Roberts