Sunday , 17 December 2017
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Refuge Amidst Life’s Difficulties

“Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings.”  Psalm 61:4

Life has a way of pounding us.  Difficulty upon difficulty seem to be heaped upon us.  Having withstood the onslaught of these troubles for awhile we then face a circumstance which pushes us over the edge.  Our heart, which had managed well enough through most of it, becomes weak and is hurting.  The writer of Psalm 61 describes the condition as being “faint-hearted.”

As the fall season is well under way, I know that returning to school comes with its fair share of difficulties and stresses: Anxiety over tests, classes, sports, etc.  Many of the greatest difficulties though, are relational. You deal with questions like: Do they like me?, Is he mad at me?, Are they or making fun of me?, and Why was she so rude?.  These questions are all a part of the daily struggle of grade school life.

The most common mistake when a person finds himself or herself “faint-hearted” as a result of life’s troubles is to deal with it by way of distraction.  We seek to be distracted from our troubles and anxieties, to get our minds off of the difficulties.  Our first instinct is escape.  So we escape to a long list of possible distractions like facebook, television, and video games, for example.   These things do indeed provide an escape and often they provide a sense of temporary relief.  Unfortunately, they fail us miserably in providing what we really need.  We don’t need escape from difficulty, we need to engage the difficulty in a way that provides us with the best perspective for overcoming it.  We don’t need to forget the trouble, but to be infused with courage to face it.  We don’t need temporary relief from discomfort.  We need to be comforted.  Wouldn’t you rather find wisdom, courage, and comfort with your troubles rather than just temporary distraction from them? Put down the devices of distraction and pickup your Bibles.  God offers these very things to us as we come before Him in prayer and read His Word.

Psalm 61:1-4 says:

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.  Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings!

God is… like a high rock and in standing upon His truth we can see more clearly, gaining better understanding of our troubles and how to approach them.  It is like standing on Beam’s rock or Wolf’s rock on the Laurel Ridge above camp.  There is a perspective of the terrain before you that is different when you stand above it.

God is … like a strong tower against the enemies of worry, fear, self-pity, and many other difficulties we struggle against.  Standing behind the walls of this strong tower is a whole lot better place to face enemies than out in the open field.  Courage comes in knowing that God is strong, even when we are weak.

God is… like an eagle, whose young ones find warmth, comfort, and shelter beneath its wings.  There is very real comfort, reassurance, and contentment in God’s presence.

Why would we go anywhere else?