All of the chapters in today’s Bible reading* share the theme of God’s protection and blessing for those who run to God for refuge. What David shares isn’t Transactional Religion where God is obligated to do x if we do y. God doesn’t work that way! God is never obligated to do anything for anyone. Although mankind is created in His image, God is so “other” than us.
So what does it mean to run to God for refuge? It means that God’s people go to Him first instead of trying to find help, comfort, and protection anywhere else. It means that God’s people seek Him first. (Matthew 6:33)
I live in Texas. This time of year, we often have warnings about thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes. As we watched the local TV news last night, the meteorologist warned us of the potential for dangerous weather for tomorrow. He urged everyone to have a plan and to stay “weather aware”. Part of the plan he suggested is to have a safe room in your home.
A safe room is a room surrounded by interior walls and away from windows. For us, our laundry room is the obvious choice for our safe room. Every other room in our home has windows on exterior walls. Also, our laundry room is the only room in our home with an eight-foot ceiling. All of the other ceilings are twelve feet above the floor. Having a small room with a low ceiling provides more safety.
Over twenty years ago, a destructive tornado ripped through downtown Fort Worth. Meteorologists were warning that a potential tornado was heading to our immediate area. My wife and I saw hail bouncing on our front lawn as weather spotter trucks drove past our home. One TV meteorologist commented that “If you’re in the affected area, right now is not the time to stand in your living room watching the weather.” My wife and I were doing just that! Thankfully, the approaching storm system diverted a little south of our neighborhood.
God is our refuge. God is our safe room. He is there for His people. He is always there protecting His people from storms. Does that mean that God’s people will never suffer? Does that mean that God’s people will never experiencing hardship? Absolutely not!
Rather than promising calm seas, God promises to be with us in the boat. He promises us peace in the midst of the storm. And that’s better than not having a storm in the first place. It’s better because we have a deeper appreciation of our refuge as we see the storms swirling around us.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: