Monday, December 1, 2014

Written by Pastor Stuppy

December 3, 2014
God is our refuge and strength.

Whenever he was scared, Jimmy ran to his mom and dad’s bedroom. Whenever it would storm and the lightening would flash and the thunder would boom, Jimmy would run to his mom and dad’s bedroom. Whenever he was afraid that the boogie-man under his bed was going to get him, Jimmy would hop out of his bed and run down the hall to his mom and dad’s bedroom. He would leap into their bed and hide under the covers. Jimmy found security in his mom and dad’s room. With mom on one side and dad on the other, Jimmy felt safe and wasn’t afraid anymore.

Now I realize that most of us have grown out of that stage. When we’re scared, we no longer run to mom and dad’s room. But let me ask you this: Where do you run? Where do you run when lightening strikes in your life? Where do you run when the thunder of trouble rumbles all around you? Where do you seek refuge when you see the storm clouds gathering on the horizon of your life?

A refuge is a place where you go to find shelter. It’s a place where you feel safe and secure. For many people their home is their refuge. That is where they find shelter from the elements: the rain and the harsh winter wind. There they also find respite from the hectic pace of life; from the strain and frustration of work; from the callous; cold-hearted attitude that has become so common in our communities. "Even if nobody else cares, at least I know my family is there for me."

Back in the days of King David, the one who wrote most of the psalms, people often sought refuge in caves or walled cities such as Jerusalem. Yet as safe as any of these places might be, none of them can give perfect protection. Those of you who know your Bible history, know that the city of Jerusalem was attacked, captured and destroyed at least three different times, and most of its inhabitants were killed. Those of you who know medieval history know that those who lived in castles were not protected from the devastating plagues that swept across Europe, killing hundreds of thousands.

The same is true today. Our homes may be strong but few could withstand the direct hit of a tornado or hurricane. When the flood waters rise, houses once thought secure, are inundated. The threats of terrorists’ attacks ebolla scares remind us that places of refuge and safety are not all that easy to come by.

The Psalmist says "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Ps 46:1). God is always present. He is there day and night. He is with us every second of the day. He knows the dangers that surround us. He knows our needs and how best to help. He also has the desire and ability to help us. He is in control. So don’t be afraid. Put your trust in God. Join the psalmist and say, "Therefore, we will not fear though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea." (Psalm 46:2). God is our Refuge and Strength!