The sea can be a frightening force, as I experienced while boating off the B.C. coast. In fine weather I liked nothing better than to ride the gentle swells in a sturdy craft, watching sunlight dancing on the deep blue water and feeling the salty breeze on my face. But in a moment the fickle sea could change to angry gray when a gale force wind blew rain laden clouds across the sun. We would scramble to secure our vessel against heavy seas, then scan the marine charts looking for the closest safe harbor. If we were in open water it meant fighting against tossing waves and fierce winds to reach our destination. I kept my eyes locked on the coastline as we gradually drew closer, looking for the landmarks signifying safety.
As soon as we nosed our way into the shelter of a bay, there was peace. The wind became a distant roar in the treetops while within the encircling arms of land the sea was calm. When our boat finally lay secure at anchor, we knew the relief of finding refuge in a storm.
This is the mental picture I envision when I read of God’s promise to be our refuge in Psalm 46:1 & 2.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
The Hebrew word for refuge is “machceh”, meaning a shelter, a place of hope and trust. God is not only a person, He is a place where we can find hope and know trust, especially during troubled times. The above verse says God is an ever-present help in trouble, meaning we do not need to struggle long on a storm-tossed sea of problems to find refuge; He is right beside us, offering shelter and solace within His arms whenever we run to Him. Knowing and experiencing God’s holy character will strengthen our sense of safety within the spiritual sanctuary He offers. The deeper our relationship with God, the more aware we are of our secure refuge in Him.
While I waited on our boat anchored safely in a sheltered bay, I was aware of the storm still raging on the open water. It is a known fact there will be storms on the ocean, and as a boater I would inevitably encounter them. So it is with the storms of life; they will come our way no matter what, but with God as our refuge we can know where to go to find peace and rest amidst the tempest. He does not offer a refuge made of rock and mortar to shelter our bodies, but a resting place for our world-weary souls to be strengthened within the fray.
Safe from the storm in my berth, I felt as if I were being rocked to sleep in giant arms. Slumber came sweet and deep, because I knew I was in a place of refuge where no harm could come to me. Spiritual security comes when this truth is laid hold of….
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” (Deuteronomy 33:27)


5 thoughts on “Refuge

  1. Welcome to WordPress. I love your new blog…colors, pictures, and especially the encouragement in your words. He is our refuge, indeed!
    ~ Wendy


  2. Addy Oberlin says:

    I did not realize that you used to go on the boat too. I grew up close to the North Sea, but was only a few times out on a fishing boat. I still miss the sound and the smell of the sea.
    A very realistic parable of the storms of the sea and the storms in our life. God is our refuge.


  3. It looks fabulous Val.


  4. Frieda Martens says:

    I didn’t know you liked scrabble. It happens to be my favorite board game and I play as often as possible. You express so well how God is our refuge in times of trouble. I like the new format.


  5. Hi Valerie,
    I have nominated you for a blogger award. You may find the information on my latest blog post. ~ Wendy


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