Escape. Retreat. Refuge. We all long for some type of relief at some point in our lives. For some it’s tragedy, health scares, or just the mundane everyday-ness of life. And sometimes, in one day, we can be at the top of the world and in the depths of the. Our emotions run rampant and we feel ecstatic one moment and ticked off the next. Why is that?
Emotions are fickle, unreliable little tyrants who have far too much control in our life. Circumstances are those things that drive the emotions so if emotions are tyrants and circumstances are conductors, then what do we do with what we feel? How can we process our emotions and feelings and frustrations in the midst of controlling circumstances?
By living in refuge.
Refuge is defined as a shelter, protection, aid or relief. God is all of that. He shelters us. We find comfort in his love. He protects us by defending us. He offers us aid if we will accept it. And sometimes, he just plain offers us relief for a brief moment when we meet him in the secret place.
Living this life is a both/and kind of experience. We live in this world where we experience all the good and bad the world has to offer. We also live in God’s kingdom where we find peace and comfort that makes no sense when we consider our circumstances.
But back to those emotions. Process your emotions in the refuge that God provides. Show him your hurts. Scream your pain. Unfold your hands from your shame. He welcomes you with open arms. He pulls on threads that don’t belong and replaces them with vibrancy that makes your life nuanced with depth and color.
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” Psalm 9:9-10.
Seek him. Seek him for relief from life. It’s easy to self-medicate ourselves with food, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, drugs, tv, pleasure, or hobbies. True relief comes when we bring ourselves, our messed up selves, to God and say: “Here I am. I can’t keep going. Help.” And he does.
He gently wipes your tears. You’re kindly pointed in the right direction, and he walks with you. He won’t forsake you if you seek him.
Seek him and find him.
- Grab a 3×5 card and write down the main controlling emotion you struggle with.
- Head to Bible Gateway and type in that emotion in the search box.
- Choose a verse that speaks to your need and write it under the emotion on the 3×5 card.
- Tape the 3×5 card in a place where you see it regularly.