Friday, December 3, 2010

God, Our Refuge Part 2

"Spiritual refuge relieves the burdened. Psalm 46:1 says, "God is a refuge." He is a temporary shelter from the harsh forces or realities that are pressing in upon you and wearing you down. It feels like a protected environment, in which you can rest and recuperate temporarily, a secure place from which you can plan your next move.

One of the most beautiful pictures of this is Psalm 91:4: "He will shelter you under his wings." What a picture.

Have you ever seen little chicks hopping around chirping, pecking, doing chick stuff? All of a sudden, the chicks and the mother hen all become aware that there's a predator in the vicinity. The mother hen lifts both wings simultaneously, and within just a few seconds all the baby chicks disappear under them. They hide there. They're sheltered there. They regroup there. The chicks say to each other in the darkness, "My heart, my heart. Did you see the size of the teeth in that wolf?" But they're okay under the wings for a time. Eventually they have to crawl out to face the real world, but for a time there's nothing quite like being sheltered under wings.

This is very near the heart of God. It is bound up in the very character and essence of God to provide a kind of hiding place for his children under his wings. Just like God provided cities of refuge for those who were running from blood avengers, today God delights in spreading his protective wings and in folding his frightened, weary, beaten-down, worn-out children under those wings. He says, "Hide here for a time. Get out of the danger for a time. Regroup. Rest. Renew your strength."

Then when the time is right, when strength has been renewed, when souls have been restored, then he lifts his wings, and we venture back out into the world—a little calmer, a little stronger, a little more secure."

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