When twenty-seventeen began, I wanted to crawl into Bilbo Baggin’s hobbit hole. I wanted to seek refuge with his books, dishes, and doilies. I had too many unanswered questions and carryover burdens from 2016. I wanted to go into hiding and wait it out while God sorted out my life.
“Tell me when did doilies and your mother’s dishes become so important to you?
…The world is not in books or maps, It’s out there!”—Gandall
What I wanted was refuge, a place to go and feel protected and safe. I wanted a place where I was cared for and did not have to make every decision. I wanted a place of peace and rest. What I wanted, God was willing to provide.
The word refuge is found ninety-eight times in the Bible. Here are a few of my favorite passages on refuge:
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27)
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2)
“How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.” (Psalm 31:19)
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8)
“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” (Psalm 59:16)
“But as for me it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my REFUGE; I will tell of all your good deeds” (Psalm 73:28, emphasis mine).
As I began to mediate on God’s Word and study the meaning of the word refuge, peace began to flood my soul. God revealed to me it wasn’t the items I needed, rather it was whom I needed to seek refuge.
The place I envisioned as my refuge changed from a hobbit hole to a grand castle or fortress surrounded by water, bulkheads, stone towers, and cannons. Perhaps Martin Luther had this in mind when he penned the famous hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.”
What do you envision when you hear the word refuge? Have you experienced a time in your life when you felt protected by God’s refuge? If so, please share.
~April Dawn White
*Images courtesy of Pixabay *Scripture is NIV from BibleGateway.com unless otherwise noted.
© 2017 April Dawn White, All rights reserved
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