Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What do you do when your day gets chaotic?

The craziness had seemed to go on for hours and I was caught right in the middle. Every time I tried to slow down and take a breath there was someone else who needed something “10 minutes” ago. I was anxious and I could feel my heart rate going up, up, up. Have you ever been there? Perhaps you’ve felt this way in your home, at school, or at work. Nothing seems to slow you down or cut through the chaos.

The last few weeks, I’ve been reading through the Psalms. What incredible strength and peace I have found in the words written all those years ago. Throughout my reading I’ve been particularly drawn to the word refuge. This word appears in the book of Psalms at least 40 times that I have noticed.

According to Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, the word refuge is defined as follows:
That which shelters or protects from danger, distress or calamity; a strong hold which protects by its strength, or a sanctuary which secures safety by its sacredness; any place inaccessible to an enemy.
When I think about the word “refuge”, I think about a hiding place. The mental picture I get is of a castle or fortress from long ago. I bet there are many places to hide in a huge castle. Having had the opportunity to travel in Europe and other places around the globe, I can remember visiting castles in Puerto Rico, England, Austria, Ireland, France and Budapest. They were magnificent structures and to me they had an appearance of safety and security. A place “inaccessible to an enemy.”

When the chaos of another day began to bubble up, I realized in that moment, I was looking in all the wrong places for peace and solitude. Suddenly, I was reminded of my study of the word refuge throughout the Psalms. Verses that I had read began to flood my spirit and I found myself clinging to the only One who provides true refuge.
Psalm 2:12 (NIV) Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 5:11 (NIV) But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Psalm 7:1 (NIV) I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me.
Psalm 9:9 (NIV) The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
Psalm 18:2 (NIV) The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

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