From Wreckage to Refuge
April 11, 2018
Verse for the Week: Psalm 46:1; “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”
School is out, and the summer heat has arrived. There is a low hum of vacation frenzy around the water coolers and dinner tables. Yet, like so many of us, vacation is merely a luxury. We dream of finding refuge in beautiful places that offer rest and escape.
Even so, if you can’t sink your toes in the sand, or hear the lapping of saltwater as it ebbs and flows onto the shore. Or sail a sailboat into a beautiful sunset. Or hang your tired legs off the side of a boat dock and gaze upon the still waters of a lake. You can find safe harbor and refuge nonetheless because our safety and security is not found in the temporal things of this life, but in Him who created them.
Our challenge this week is finding refuge and safe harbor in times of struggle. When the storms of this life have ravaged the ship we’ve been sailing on. When what we were hoping for and trusting in falls apart leaving only wreckage.
Refuge is a safe place of shelter or protection from danger or trouble. All too often, life feels dangerous, unstable, lonely, or painful. It is in these times when finding refuge is our only recourse. The lighthouse is a symbol of refuge. Its function, to help those in distress navigate through rough waters.
God tells us in our scripture verse that He is our refuge. Our protection. Our shelter. He is our change of pace. Our different perspective. Our time out. But how do you seek Him in times of need? Especially when life is crazy, and you can’t find a minute to yourself, let alone the solitude to seek His direction?
This week we are looking at Paul as our point of reference. You can read this particular account in Acts 27. As the story goes, Paul is a prisoner among prisoners and is placed on a boat sailing for Rome commissioned by God to go before Caesar.
He is on assignment—his focus is on what he’s been called to do and who he’s been called by to do it. The problem? The ship he is sailing on is destined for destruction. He knows it, and everyone on the ship knows it too.
Let’s face it; life is not linear, it is dynamic—the environment we live in is fraught with storms that derail and cause us to abandon ship or veer far off course with no return. This story of Paul is no different. He was on course, his sights set on the assignment, only to find a shipwreck in his future.
He and the entire crew had to abandon ship and swim to shore on the Island of Malta. The men who could swim jumped into the water first and swam to shore. The rest followed, cleaving to planks and pieces of wreckage from the battered ship in hopes of making it safely to dry land.
Take a look back at your life. Is there a time when Jesus called you to follow Him into the storm? Did you trust Him to spare you even though your ship—trusting people, places, and things to get us to where we want to go—was going down?
Maybe you knew it was bound to be a difficult journey, but you followed anyway and found yourself holding on to the wreckage of broken dreams, battered relationships, or financial demise in hopes of making it to dry ground.
The Bible does not promise we will not experience storms. In fact, John 16:33 tells us to expect it. Rather, He has promised He will be with us in the storm—our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
Sometimes we need a faith oasis, a reprieve. Our lives are filled to the full. We are maxed out, tapped out, and running on empty so much of the time. Hours spent at work, emotional energy expended on parenting challenges, tasks and temptations tugging at our sanity.
Regardless, let’s remember to look for a light in the darkness. He is our lighthouse. Our beacon of hope. He is our refuge and safe harbor in the midst of the storm. Set your compass toward Him. Look for Him and let Him help you navigate the rough waters. Lean on Him, hope in Him, trust Him.
Lord God, when the storms of this life threaten to take down the ship I am trusting in, please remind me that you are my refuge. My safe harbor. Help me to hear your voice in the wind and see your mighty hand in the waves, and help me to live my life in the power of Psalm 62:5; “Find rest O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from You.” In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
What storm is raging in your life threatening to take down the ship you’re relying on?
This week, take some time to seek refuge with your Creator and Commissioner. Ask Him for the navigation skills needed to find your way to safe harbor in Him.
Hugs for a great week and remember, you are not alone. Be blessed and find refuge in Christ alone.