"Finding Refuge in God"
July 19, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
In his poem “The Hound of Heaven” Francis Thompson, an opium user, gives an account of his futile attempts to avoid God, who is portrayed as pursuing him relentlessly amid his problems. He describes five “refuges” he tried to take in his desire to escape God: self (ego), mind, knowledge of nature, children, and unconsciousness. But always God in His love found him in his "hiding places."
Many today seek to evade God, turning to many escapes, subterfuges, and substitutes for Him. But as Adam and Eve learned in Eden, they cannot give God the slip. The hymn writer declares, “Other refuge have I none; Hangs my helpless soul on Thee.” And Saint Augustine: “Thou hast made us unto Thyself, and our souls are restless until they rest in Thee.” Jesus, having gained rest and respite for us by His atoning work, bids all who labor to come to Him.
The fact that God is everywhere may alarm the person who tries to run from God, but to Christians it is a great comfort. God is where we are: at home, at work, on the road, or wherever we are. The psalmist declares, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:7-10). This is a great comfort!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are my Refuge and Strength. Thank You for always being my Help in times of trouble. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)