Our Refuge and Shield

You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your word. – (Psalm 119:114, NIV)
Whenever I walk into something new, I have to spend a bit of time as an observer. Last evening’s arrival at camp was no exception. Initially, I felt as if I had been set in a sea of extroverts, a bit fearful of how I was to stay afloat; as I am far more reserved than many. As the evening unfolded, I remembered why I am here. It is not about me and my comfort, it is about loving and growing kids well. God is my refuge and my shield, and I need only look out the back door of my dwelling for the week to be reminded of Who provides my hope and my strength, and daily I seek the truth through His word. He is good, and I cannot wait to see how the week unfolds. Time off the grid in His creation, focused on His presence, is a gift. May I embrace it well. 
Our refuge and shield, 

 The Lord, He is good;

All hope we can place,

In Him, understood. 

The truth of His word,

Shall lead and shall guide;

The way we’re to go,

On Him, choose rely. 

All peace and all grace,

Come from Him alone;

May we choose to trust,

Let His hope be known. 


Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our refuge and our shield. Thank You that we can place our hope in Your word. Forgive us for failing to do so, as we allow our own fears and insecurities to get in the way. Make us fearless for You. Show us how to love others in such a way, that our lives would point their hearts to You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we trust You to be our refuge and shield, and place our hope in Your word. Amen. 
Taste and see that The Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8

To Take Courage

When Jesus walked on water, the disciples were in the midst of some really rough seas. For experienced fishermen to be straining at the oar, indicated that it was quite a rough row as they were attempting make their way across the lake and the wind had risen up against them. Likely struggling and straining to keep the boat afloat, they then caught a glimpse of God’s glory as Jesus appeared beside them, walking on the water. The men were terrified.

 

Immediately He spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” – (Mark 6:50b)

 

When things are uncertain and fear rises up, it is easy to get stuck in the straining as we struggle to stay afloat. The very same Jesus who walked on the water out to the place where the disciples were straining in the stormy seas, is seated beside us in scary spaces and whispers to our hearts, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Christ knows our struggles and stays beside us, and in the midst of our storms, we need only look up to recognize His presence; for Christ’s nearness is the antidote for fear. May we keep our eyes securely fixed on Jesus, who is our safety and strength, and in whom we have nothing to fear.

 

When the waters rise,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and the storms surround;

let’s look to the One,

in Whom hope is found.

For we need not fear,

with Christ by our side;

all courage and strength,

from Him, are supplied.

Christ knows all our needs,

and cares for each one;

receive all He grants,

the battle’s been won.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not leave us alone in fearful or tumultuous spaces, but You are present and ever reminding us to take courage in You. Thank You that we need not be afraid, for You are with us, and You are far greater than anything that would come against us. Forgive us for allowing our gaze to stay glued to our struggles, rather that seeing You, our solution. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would fix our eyes on You, the Author and Perfector of our faith. Lead us to love others with an unrelenting kindness and grace, just as You love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You, Lord. Be glorified O God, as we take courage in You, allowing You to strengthen and equip us to face the fearful things that stand before us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. – 1 Peter 2:19