Thursday, March 27, 2014

God is my refuge...

Following God is not the safe thing to do. Ask Job, Paul, and the Roman Christians, to start.

I've always sought safety in God. Chatting with a few friends about the subject I changed my perspective.

I've been doing it wrong.

The safety in choosing God is the assurance He will never abandon me. Following Jesus not only doesn't promise safety, He, in fact, promises trials and tribulations.

He also promises hope, a lightening (not removal) of my burden, inspiration.

One of my friends shared her journey and offered the perspective of seeking refuge in God.

Refuge and safety are not the same thing, at least not in my head.

I'm reminded of the scripture about man's ways not being God's ways.

I understood this on one level, but completely misunderstood on another.

I thought seeking refuge meant I'd be safe from harm. This is something abuse survivors tend to seek because the sense of being safe is stripped away. Often it's offered as a false reward or the definition is corrupted, depending on the abuser's end game.

Now, refuge has come to mean a place I may rest in a storm, but if I must continue on, I'm not continuing on alone.

Alone, another tool of the abuser, convincing the abused they are alone, no one could love them, they'll never do anything right, they're isolated.

Alone is a lie. God is always there, waiting, a breath away, standing in the storm with the survivor. Never alone.

I've felt lonely often. I've believed myself to be alone. I believed the lies.

Choosing the truth required I accept the nature of God, endless, eternal, all-knowing, present everywhere like the stars. When the sun is out, you can't see them because the sun is so bright. They're still there. When darkness comes, they're revealed. Even if clouds appear, they're still there.

I'm learning to seek God as my refuge and let go of the need for safety. Life will happen. There will be pain and sorrow and tragedy. No matter what. God, in His loving kindness, will not protect me from the storms of life, for it is in the storms I discover my weaknesses and strengths. God is there, always. By embracing all of my life, God showers me with joy and courage and hope, sharing in every moment.

I choose God as my refuge.

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