Our Refuge and Strength
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. —Psalm 36:7-8
My daughter, Gabriela, is five years old. Gabriela's two older brothers like to play with her and chase her. And though she likes playing with her brothers, she is really half-scared when they are chasing her. Of course, I see it and I can't help but to get engaged right away. I tell Gabriela, "Gaby, you go get your brothers because Daddy is going to chase them with you." Gabriela gets a big smile of total confidence and then turns and chases her brothers with both confidence and vigor. Why confidence and vigor? She knows her Father is right behind her.
The funny thing is, the boys don't see Gabriela chasing them. They only see their big Dad going after them and they are now running half-scared. Gabriela doesn't think about this. She is just as excited as can be now that the tables are turned. She is the one doing the chasing and so is full of joy because her daddy is with her.
Isn’t this exactly how it is with our Heavenly Father? When we take refuge in Him, we have full confidence to enter any battle knowing He is right behind us. He is the reason for our confidence and success. Even though we are the ones running to win, the battle belongs to Him. The question becomes, in all circumstances, when we are facing any trial large or small, Do we know who is our refuge and strength?
Many times, the Gospel comes to us through affliction. Things weren’t going well. Or things were downright awful. We were suffering and feeling lost and confused. Or unloved and unwanted. Then, the Light of the Gospel was shined upon us and we came to faith in Christ as our Savior. We’re saved. But what now? You see, every time there is a trial or affliction in our life, we are given an opportunity to know the Lord in a deeper, more personal way. He “runs behind us.” As we learn to take refuge in Him, and let Him fight our battles, we begin to know Him more and more. We begin to “feast in the abundance” of His house. He becomes our “fountain of life” and the Light that we shine.
And, like my daughter, we get to run the race of life with joy, confidence, and vigor as the Heavenly Father is right behind us. —Jared Cox
Prayer: Almighty Father in heaven, how many times have I run straight into battle without even checking that You are still with me? Forgive me for not letting You fight my battles. Forgive me when I take matters into my own hands. Help me to remember that when I do that, things never go well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.