“God is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust”
Ever think about running away? Perhaps to a cabana on a sandy white beach in the Caribbean. Or a ranch sitting along the banks of a slow moving river. Or maybe your ideal would be a little cabin in the woods high atop a mountain. At times, anywhere but where we presently are is appealing. Those are the times we want to yell, “Calgon, take me away!”
We’ve all been there. Some of us on a more regular basis. Those times when unwanted and unwarranted things pile up and we feel we have reached the end of our strength. People go to many places to hide from the pains of life. Some hide in a bottle of rum or a prescription of antidepressants. Some hide in a Mall maxing out their credit cards. While others simply pull the covers up over their heads and shroud themselves in darkness.
The desire to run away puts us in company with some renowned biblical characters. Remember that Jonah ran away on a ship. And Elijah was so depressed at Jezebel’s threats that he ran into the desert where he sat down under a large bush and cried to God, “I’ve had enough. Just let me die!”
So what if I told you that there is a place we can go to get away from it all? A place we can find all the comfort, safety, and rest we need. The writer of Psalm 91 (some believe it was Moses) knew that his God was the best and safest One to run to when life got overwhelming. “God is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” The writer chose a Hebrew word for “refuge” that means “shelter” or “a place to flee for protection.” When we feel like running away, we do so because we don’t feel safe where we are; thus the thought of being able to flee to a place that removes the feelings of vulnerability gives us a sense of being sheltered. The Psalmist also chose a word for “fortress” that means “a tower of defense.” The knowledge that we are defended by God makes us realize that we are not alone as we walk through our difficulties. And lastly, the word for “trust” is a word that means “confident boldness.” God gives us a fresh new sense of hope. And after all, hope is what we desperately need when we find ourselves wanting to run away from life.
Running to God when we feel we really want to run away, will give us the refreshment and rejuvenation that only His Spirit can renew within us. God’s presence is the Secret Place where we can experience the tenderness of His love and the comfort of His assurance. Run THERE next time you want to run away.