Saturday, September 24, 2016


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Last Monday morning I woke up, got dressed and sat down in my home office with my Bible and the prayer list from Sunday morning worship.  On days when everything goes "according to plan" this is my usual practice.  I begin by reading a chapter of the Bible and then spend time in prayer.  In addition to the list from worship I have the private prayer requests that people give me (which are things I usually hold in prayer for months), a list of the people asking for prayer for healing, a list related to my family and some other things that seem right to be keeping in prayer.  On this particular Monday I read Psalm 71, which begins,

" In you, O Lord, do I take refuge;
    let me never be put to shame!
 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
    incline your ear to me, and save me!"

That first phrase virtually stopped me in my tracks.  In you, O Lord, do I take refuge.  The second verse gives emphasis to the psalmist's need for a safe and protected place.  I thought about the concerns that were lifted up on Sunday morning, written down and in my hands.  I thought about some of the other needs within our congregation and our community.  We are a people who very much need the same things the psalmist is crying out to God for.  In our daily lives, which so often seem like a swirling, howling wind, we desperately need refuge. 

We may have a conflict within our family or at work that never seems to end.  We may be struggling with illness that doesn't seem to have a cure.  We may be feeling stretched to a point where we are beginning to lose hope in things ever becoming better.

We need refuge, and so like the psalmist we cry out to God to be our safe place.

Deliver me.  Rescue me.  Save me.

We cry out to God, who hears our prayers and who never fails to protect His children.  He never fails as our place of refuge.  His refuge, His deliverance, His rescue, His salvation…they may not look or feel quite like we desire at the moment we cry out, but He never fails to provide the things His children need.  Never.

In the last section of psalm 71 the psalmist praises God, in part by remembering the many things God has already done, and in part by simply adoring who God is.  This same God who the psalmist cries out to and praises, is the same God who loves and holds you.  This same God who is the only refuge for the psalmist, is also the only refuge for me, for you, and for all who call on Him in faith. In the swirling and howling winds of life may you always find refuge in Him. 

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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