What is truly a safe place of refuge?
by Esme Schmitt
How many times have you thought one of the following in the past few months?
- This world is scary
- I don’t know how I am going to make it
- I feel so vulnerable right now
- So much can go wrong…I am actually afraid of life
- I need a safe place…a refuge.
It’s so true that we go through different seasons in life. There are times when you just seem to life in abundance in all areas of life – everything runs smoothly and your plans are executed perfectly. Then comes those seasons come when simply everything is uncertain. Life shifts from ease and a delight to hardship, loneliness or just pure difficulty. Do you know what I mean?
In this (and the next) blog I want to talk about the latter. That season when you just want to pull the blankets over your head, eat multiple slabs of chocolate and simply forget about the latest thing that went wrong. Recently I have found some really powerful and liberating strategies from the Word that I would love to share with you…
Your places of refuge
In a previous blog I wrote about our tendency to hide from God. These hiding places can be innocent like watching tv, eating lots of sugary foods, watching sport, reading facebook, browsing the internet and reading book after book. Then there are other hiding places that crosses the line and can ruin a marriage, friendships and even a career…I think you know which ones I am talking about. The interesting facts about both these two categories of hiding places are:
- both are seen as a safe place
- the preferred place you go when things go wrong
- both are the greatest place of comfort
In a brilliant facebook post by Anne Hamilton she calls this a “false refuge”.
Why do we need a place of refuge?
We do not live in a perfect world. Many times our souls are in the middle of a war and we can experience various kinds of trauma. It could also be that we are angry, bitter or disappointed, especially at God. In these times we become a SPIRITUAL REFUGEE and we need a safe place. A place to ‘zone out’, ‘regroup’, ‘think’ and “to get healed’.
The question then is: which refuge do we choose when this happens and how long do we stay there?
What is the problem with these ‘false’ places of refuge?
I was a bit shocked when I realised that scripture actually talks about places of refuge. Isaiah 28:15 says, “for we have made lies our refuge, an in falsehood we have taken shelter”. It seems that we have to be very careful about which kind of refuge we choose!
If you read scripture you will see that God, again and again, asks us to make Him our refuge place.
- “You are my hiding place, You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7)
- “Blessed is the man who trusts and takes refuge in the Lord’ (Psalm 34:8)
- “The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe? (Proverbs 10:18)
Once we enter these safe places that scripture talks about we have the following benefits:
- Deliverance (we are actually surrounded by songs of deliverance…amazing!)
- God gives us direction in the way we should go
- We surrounded by the love of God!
- We are in relationship with God
I personally don’t see anything wrong with reading a book, going shopping, watching sport, eating chocolate and all these wonderful things we do to relax. I am realising though, that when you are a SPIRITUAL REFUGEE you have to be careful. When you act from a place of disappointment, trauma, anger or other things; then God asks us to make Him our refuge.
And, truly, where can we be safer than in the arms of Jesus?
In the next blog, I will talk more about how you can make God your refuge place. I would love, though, to hear your comments on today’s blog!