Today’s verse is Psalm 119:114.
You are my refuge and my shield;
your word is my source of hope.
What an awesome reminder to start the week with! I’m not comfortable telling you how many times I have tried to take refuge in something else other than God. I’ve used finances as a shield. I’ve used health as a shield. I’ve used family and friends and even religion as a shield to protect me from things that scared me.
God is our refuge and our shield. At least, He should be. When you take refuge in God, though, that doesn’t mean that He’s going to protect you from everything. I think we get that confused sometimes. What it means is that He isn’t going to put you through something you won’t survive without His help. Some of those experiences He allows you to go through may be unpleasant–and it may even feel like He didn’t protect you–but you can know that whatever you’re going through is something He can use to bring glory to Himself and to bring you closer to Him.
I guess a good example is my recent trip to Guatemala. I’m probably going to be using examples from that trip for the next few months but that was because it was so awesome! =)
In any case, I was totally trusting God to protect me. Now, when most people ask for God to protect them, don’t you think people want God to keep them safe from everything? Well . . . yes. And I’m certainly human enough to ask God to protect me from danger and death and disease.
So let’s say I went down to Guatemala and went back into villages full of people who hadn’t heard the Gospel before and told them (as best I could) all about Jesus. And let’s say that people got saved. And while God got me there and back again safely, when I got home I was so full of amoebas that I couldn’t leave the bathroom for more than an hour.
Did God protect me?
See, we have this idea that when God protects us we’ll always be safe. That’s not always true. God didn’t call us to live safe lives. He has called us to live for Him and that rarely means being safe.
We as Americans are all about safety. We even make our cowboys wear helmets when they’re riding bulls. Bullriding is supposed to be dangerous. Wearing a helmet when you’re riding a bull is just silly. But we want everyone to be safe.
Now am I saying it’s wrong to want to be safe? Not necessarily. What I’m saying is that I think most of the time we place our safety and the safety of our families above what God has called us to do.
Now, granted, God did give us brains. And I do believe He has called us to consider the choices that He places before us. But at the same time, I think that we need to be willing to do whatever and go wherever He tells us no matter how dangerous it might be. Because God is our refuge. God is our shield. And while He may choose to allow certain dangers past (like amoebas . . . ugh), that doesn’t mean He isn’t protecting us.
I can tell you right now that my amoebas didn’t kick in in full force until I was safely home, and that was a real blessing. I could have gotten them on the plane. Now that would have been annoying, not only for me but for all the people on the plane! lol
So whenever you’re feeling threatened or afraid, just remember that God is your refuge and your shield. And He isn’t going to put you through something for no reason. God has a reason for everything He does, and He will always be there by our side no matter what happens.