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January 5 – Refuge

Have you ever watched a disaster movie? Most of us have seen one, or at least seen the trailers when they advertise on TV. When the disasters might affect children, there is always a scene where the hero picks up some kids and rushes them into a sheltered area just before the full effect of the disaster strikes. The flames or the sand storm or the rocks rush by and all of us who are watching breathe a sigh of relief thinking about how close they came to total annihilation. Then, when the disaster is over, we watch as our hero and the kids come out of their refuge and look at their changed world. We know they’re wondering, “How will we set things right again?” At the same time, we know that they are rejoicing that they survived the disaster and look forward to seeing them restore the situation to as normal a situation as possible.

Maybe one of the reasons I like disaster movies is that I see people dealing with bigger disasters than I have to deal with daily, and surviving. I know, it almost sounds petty, doesn’t it? Have you ever felt like everything in your life was like a disaster waiting to happen? Perhaps you think the music of your life should be the music they played in Jaws as the shark was approaching to attack. It’s easy to get bogged down in those troubles of life. King David had a lot of trouble throughout his life. The key for him was that He kept trusting God even when he did the dumbest things and even when he faced the worst disasters. God is not the hero who rushes us to the sheltered area, He is the shelter. “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” (Psalm 5:11)

We all need protection in life. Some days are worse than others. Some days you face hurricanes; others you enjoy a gentle breeze. Some days life is an uncrowded freeway; others it’s a roller coaster. In those difficult days, it gives me strength to know that I can take refuge in God. That gives me the strength to continue living. It gives me joy in the midst of terrible circumstances. Sometimes we think that, as Christians, we should never have difficult times. I’ve heard people accuse Christians having bad days as not having the faith that they need. The truth is that Christians have troubles that get them down. Christians and their families get sick – get cancer even. Christians and their families die. Christians lose jobs. According to one statistic I saw a Christian was killed every six minutes last year because of their faith. Bad things happen to Christians and we go through difficult times. In those times we need to take refuge in God. We need to rejoice in His presence even while dealing with the difficulties of the world.

While God is always willing to accept us when we turn to Him, the best way to take refuge in Him is now. You may not be going through a storm right now, but He still provides His protections for you. When you have a daily, ongoing relationship with Him, He seems easier to find. If you pay lip service to Him and don’t really establish that relationship with Him during the simpler times, you may not recognize His presence when the troubles come. How often have we seen in movies or TV shows when the hero walks into trouble instead of into safety? If we don’t walk with Jesus every day, we may end up running to the wrong place when the troubles come and we really need refuge. So, spend time with God. Seek His presence in the good times. Know that troubles will come and plan for your place of refuge to be familiar and comforting.

Lord God, I do seek my safety in You. Thank You for Your protection each and every day. Let me rejoice in Your love during the calm and during the storm.

Daily Devotion by Bob James


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