Refuge in God
In God I take refuge. (Psalm 11:1; read Psalm 11 in its entirety.)
Life is upside down. The righteous are troubled. The future is in doubt. In such moments, the Psalmist remembers that our hope is in God. This is not retreat, withdrawal, or denial, but immersion in the challenging realities of life, in the realities of pandemic and protest, in national uncertainty, and discovering that beyond tragedy is grace and deliverance.
What does it mean to take refuge? It means to pause, place yourself in God’s care, rest assured in grace and protection, and then after the pause, confront the powers of death and destruction. Refuge is strategic not permanent. It is a rest in holiness – a confidence in the ultimate triumph of God and God’s moral arc of history – that enables us to face disorientation in our individual and national lives with courage and wisdom and then move forward to new ways of life.
Three months ago, life was predictable. Now the only predictability is the unpredictable and unprecedented whether in pandemic or politics. We are disoriented, from the highest level to the humblest hourly wage earner. But, we will not be defeated by the powers of evil. God’s refuge protect us from all ill. We will “get through us,” different people tell us, but getting through will not be a return to the past but new life reoriented by grace and love. God is our refuge, a very present help, a loving companion, and even in disorientation, we will not be afraid. For we have said our prayers, and gained new courage for the journey ahead.
Like a good parent, God holds us lovingly until we are ready to face trouble once again, knowing that God’s loving wisdom will endure forever.
Help me take refuge in your truth, O God. Let me trust your loving care. Enfolded in loving arms, let me take comfort and then courage to face the evils of the day. Amen.
Bruce Epperly is a Cape Cod pastor, professor, and author of over 50 books including FAITH IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC, GOD ONLINE: A MYSTIC’S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET, and ONE WORLD: THE LORD’S PRAYER FROM A PROCESS PERSPECTIVE.