april 17, 2023

“This God - his way is perfect, the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”

-Psalm 18:30

For our devotion this week, I want to revisit my first, and hopefully my worst, motorcycle accident.  I went out for a ride on an absolutely gorgeous day and, as I was completing wide, winding loop, I was making my way back into town and heading towards my house.  Unfortunately, a summer storm popped up, seemingly out of nowhere.  The rain was steady but then it started pouring and I was being pelted.  I slowed way down and kept plenty of distance all around me with the other traffic on the road.  I had a destination in mind to wait out the storm, a gas station, just a few miles from my location had a huge canopy where I could take refuge in the storm.  If I could just make it to that gas station, I would be fine, I just knew it.  As the gas station was coming into sight, I relaxed a little and approached the railroad tracks that I would have to cross before I reached shelter.  The tracks cross a tight curve in the road and I felt confident that I would get across them without issue. My front wheel cleared the tracks but my rear tire lost traction on the wooden cross ties and the rear of the motorcycle slid out to my left.  I dove to the right, towards the shoulder and hoped for the best.  I hit the ground, a little harder than I would have liked, but I jumped up and immediately worried about my motorcycle.  I ended up with a skinned elbow and knee, the motorcycle only had a damaged rear turn signal so everything turned out pretty good, all things considered.  I got the motorcycle to the shoulder, started it right back up and, as I waited to enter the flow of traffic, the storm stopped.  15 minutes, that was it.  I tried to make it to shelter in the storm, but I came up short, and then the storm ended.

In our daily lives, we encounter storms that come up just as quickly as that summer rain and we find ourselves seeking refuge in those storms.  Sometimes we may find ourselves wondering where that refuge will come from.  The answer is easy, Jesus Christ.  We cannot depend upon ourselves in every situation, but we can always depend upon the Lord.  We can even find strength and refuge in His word, just as it is written in Proverbs, chapter 30, verse 5:

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

-Proverbs 30:5

Now, this does not mean immediate relief from the pain and troubles that may be plaguing us during a particular storm in our life.  What it does mean is that God is not bothered by these storms and He will help us navigate them.  If our faith is true, then we will emerge on the other side of the storm, that much stronger.  The refuge that God provides is so much easier to get to than the gas station that I was trying to reach in the rain, because no matter where we are, it is simply a matter of turning to Him and laying the storm at His feet.  In Him we will find confidence in our day of trouble.  We find in 2 Thessalonians that God will always remain faithful to those who seek Him:

“But the Lord is faithful, He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.”

-2 Thessalonians 3:3

Knowing God as our refuge enables us to trust Him more freely. We need not fear situations or people who threaten our well-being, whether in a physical or spiritual sense. There is no situation we will ever face that is out of God’s control, so the best place to be, always, is right with Him.

What we must guard against is trying to weather the storm on our own, by our own devices.  In those moments we come up short and the storm wins.  So how do we remain faithful to the Lord and take refuge in Him?  It is very simple, we must pray to Him, worship Him, study His word, and fellowship with others to encourage us and give us strength.  If you are a believer, but you are not connected with church, a body of fellow believers, then you are missing a key component to God’s refuge.  If you are not a believer, then I beg you to seek someone you trust, who is a believer, or to seek a church and get answers to the questions you may have.  Hear the Gospel story and take it to heart.  You will still face those storms of life, but you will find a refuge that is far greater than anything you could ever imagine.

No matter what our circumstance, the safest place to be is always in the center of God’s will. He promises to be our refuge:

“...I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper;

    I will not fear;

what can man do to me?”

-Hebrews 13:5-6

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