Take refuge in the only place of strength

I wrote this a month or two ago, and forgot to post. Better late than never.

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Often our lives can feel like one new stress after another. We just get one thing sorted out, and a new challenge comes along. Someone changes their mind about something and doesn’t see the implications for others. We feel like we are under attack, that we can barely keep our heads above water. As time marches on and we are old enough to benefit from hindsight and some accumulated wisdom, it is then aspects of our health that present new and unexpected challenges.

This year I have worked full time in a Christian high school, with a great bunch of like-minded people, who are always willing to go above and beyond for the sake of their students. Being part of this is a joy, but also pretty taxing on the body and mind. So as I take a break for our long summer holidays here in Australia, I want to reflect on how I could cope with the demands of life and work and family a little better.

Our pastor today spoke from Psalm 11, where David shares the fact that the Lord is his refuge. Amidst the physical and political attacks he faced, the enemies who pursued him, it was the Lord who provided the only place of safety.

And so, I ponder: Where do I run, what do I run to, when things are falling apart, when things get busy, when the stress piles up? Is it the Lord that I run to? Or something else? Can I truly say it is the Lord in whom I take refuge?

And what would this look like?
As I reflect on the year that has been and contemplate the future challenges, I will endeavour to take refuge in the Lord by:

* Getting better at taking time to be alone, to meet with Him in his Word and in prayer.
* Praising Him to others, deliberately and purposely, in normal conversation.
* Making decisions more slowly, praying and considering his wisdom and how it applies to the challenges I face, rather than simply relying on my wisdom.
* Immersing myself in His Word at more opportunities, rather than seeking refuge in the humour or drama or news that this world provides, which mostly promotes and leads us to self-reliance, rather than God-dependence.

These may sound like a bunch of New Year resolutions but these are some things I hope to pursue in the busyness of life this year. It is in the busyness of life that we all live and this is where we need to seek the Lord. That elusive, quieter time may never come. Seek the Lord while he may be found….today.

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