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“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

Author and former President of the Moody Bible Institute, Dr. Joseph Stowell, once wrote for the Our Daily Bread devotional: “An acquaintance of mine was hunting with friends near Balmoral, the country estate of the queen of England. As they walked, he twisted his ankle so badly that he couldn’t go on, so he told his friends to continue and he would wait by the side of the road. As he sat there, a car came down the road, slowed, and stopped. The woman driving rolled the window down and asked if he was okay. He explained and said he was waiting for his friends to return. She said, ‘Get in; I’ll take you back to where you are staying.’ He limped to the car and opened the door only to realize that it was Queen Elizabeth!”  If, in fact, this event truly happened, the Queen may have put her on safety in peril in order to risk helping someone else who appeared to be more vulnerable than she.

These days, there are not many people who feel comfortable stopping to serve someone in distress. I can attest to that, because it happened to me recently.  As our family was traveling by car to visit a friend on what would normally be about a forty-minute drive, we needed to pass through a mountain range. As we did so on a beautiful Sunday morning, our vehicle suddenly had no acceleration. As I pulled off onto the narrow brim of the four-lane highway, I suddenly realized that we were situated in the valley of two tall mountains with no cellphone service to get help. As we paused to rethink the situation, we remembered an older phone which had been arbitrarily placed in a compartment without having been charged for a while. For whatever reason, which we attribute to a Higher Power, we were able to make the necessary connections we needed in order to get home. In the meantime, a call to 9-1-1 brought a state policeman our way who remained with our car until the tow truck arrived.

While we were not assisted by the Queen, the King of all Kings kept us safe and guided us through the stressful details of our journey that day. We can rejoice in knowing that His faithfulness to us isn’t determined by our actions or level of commitment at any given time. We have a direct line to Him, and it is never out of service.  David is a great example of someone who struggled through many life-threatening situations but who, even so, pursued God as his shield. David said, “Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8). David unswervingly asked God to intervene on his behalf. He knew he had nothing to fear, because in Him he found a fortress stronger than any opposition he might face. When we turn to God for help and protection, we begin to recognize Him as our refuge. If you are in relationship with Him knowing He is your King and you are His child, then no matter what life may bring your way, you will be eternally safe.

It is important for us to understand that just because God is our refuge does not mean He will never allow us to experience difficult or dangerous situations. You will remember that Jesus Himself led the disciples into a boat, knowing full well that a violent storm was brewing. The disciples were terrified, but Jesus calmed the storm and became their refuge (Matthew  8:23-27). When we are in God’s loving care and feel His presence, we can face even the most treacherous situations with confidence. No matter what our circumstance, the safest place to be is always in the center of God’s will. I love the imagery that the psalmist provides with these words: “This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him…He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection” (Psalm 91:2,4). This most certainly gives us the assurance we need when we find ourselves stranded in an unsettling situation along the sideline of one of life’s busy highways with no service except for what He alone can provide.

REFLECTION: Can you think of times when the scriptural words “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5) were evident in your life? How does knowing that God is our refuge provide a sense of peace even though nations may be in uproar and earthly kingdoms are falling? Are there ways you might help others to increase their appreciation for the refuge you can find in God alone?


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