Seeking refuge in God

The writer of Psalm 71 - was it David? - has become an old man. He reminds God that he has leaned on God from his birth, and now, at a more mature age, he still leans on God. He needs to do this, as he is in trouble.
‘In you, O Lord, do I seek refuge.’ (Ps 71:1) ‘Be for me a stronghold.’ (Ps 71:3)

When life seems unfair and troubles increase, it is wise to run to God, and to envision him really as a castle, a safe haven, a place of refuge. We need moments of quiet and relaxation, to allow our Father to touch us in times of problems and stress. Like a knight who barely escapes from battle into the castle and the bridge is quickly drawn up.

God is such a safe place for us. When we pray, we can let go of our fears and stress, and let God mentally ‘repair’ us.

This faith is not escapism. It is not a denial of the reality of life around us. There is real evil; there is misery. And it touches our lives. No-one is immune to it. But we can always run to God, to ask for his help. He restores our soul. Then we are much better able to cope with life - life that has many glorious ups but also many disastrous downs.

Being with God in times of need helps us, I believe, to be more honest about how we experience our life. His presence is soothing and allows us to more courageously look at our wounds.

It is of course possible to train our mind in continuous denial of reality. Many people seem to do this. The believe they can keep darkness away by just being positive and optimistic. That works, to a certain extent, but in the end, it does not keep the Grim Reaper away.

It is therefore more realistic to keep our eyes and heart open, and allow pain to hurt us when life plays us some bad cards. In those moments, God is present and he is our stronghold. And by allowing pain, and God, close to our heart and mind, we also allow real joy to invade us.

‘You are my hope, O Lord God, my confidence, even from my youth.’ (Ps 71:5)

Blessings to you all! Jos Strengholt