The house is shaking, swaying, swirling me into the sea of fear and doubt again. I thought we were done with this. It had been nearly been a year since the monstrous earthquake rocked my new country of residence and my self-set security.
I run to check on the baby, who had finally given up the bed-time battle but was now wide-awake, shocked and sweaty.
I pray a silent, stressed-out prayer. In my reality, I had run up the stairs. But my weary soul that dictates my steps ran them right to the Refuge I had never utilized as such until it was my last resort at rest. I’ve lived under His unshakeable shelter ever since. What else can I do?
He’s my Refuge.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof (Psalm 46:1-3).
The quake that tips the Richter scale doesn’t hold a flickering candle to the power my God possesses.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust(Psalm 91:2).
I can weather the storms that will inevitably rage. Not because I’ve crafted a tempest-tested vessel, but because the Christ who humbly let death momentarily defeat him conquered it three days later.
His power walked His once lifeless body out of the tightly shut tomb, but His love for me kept Him shamefully still on the cross as His last breath escaped His colorless lips.
He’s my refuge.
But He is also my friend.
And isn’t that the best kind of friend to have? A trustworthy treasure, a selfless safe place, a reliable Redeemer.
I can shoot a text to my BFF who may roll her eyes at my latest conundrum as she seeks to untangle the fears and temptations that weave tightly around her own soul. Or I can cling to the hand of my soul’s indweller as He leads me to my only true confidant, my best friend for eternity.
He’s been called a friend of sinners. And, rightfully so, since he’s a friend of mine. The benefits of this relationship so lavishly extended to me are as freeing as they are mind-blowing.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:16-18).
He equips me, in His love, to live fearless and free resting in His refuge yet enabled in boldness that draws others in for an introduction. As I invite them into my safe place, I can trust that the Holy Spirit that guides my steps to the Cross time and time again will pull them in with power and grace that comes not from my weak attempts to convey His worth that speaks for itself.
I can’t force people into the Refuge or pressure them into a relationship with the most precious Friend they could ever have. But I can proclaim with unwavering faith forged in His providential power that He is the only One who can save us from death and set our feet on unshakeable ground.
How empowering it is to serve the Savior! How sweet it is to call Him friend!
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Wonderful, thoughtful and heartfelt post, Amber!
Oddly enough, I got a doctorate in working on how to keep bridges and buildings from falling down in earthquakes.
For what it’s worth – it’s not ‘how strong’ or ‘how flexible’ a structure is, but how much energy a structure can absorb and safely dissipate that makes the difference.
How interesting! It was so sad that 9,000 people died mainly due to buildings being poorly made.
It is good to hear from you. When I didn’t see much coming from your last Friday I began to worry and pray then Kate gave us a little
update. I hope you are improving.
Thanks, Amber. Still here, but it’s not looking good.
Biggest structural problem comes from what’s called the ‘beam-column joint’ – it’s where a column frames into the floor above.
The structure there is very stiff, and ‘attracts’ a lot of seismic force. The aim is to make the joint very ‘dense’ so that a lot of energy is absorbed without deformation, and move the ‘flexible’ parts outward. Beams can carry seismic loads really well, and one wants to use them to protect the joint region by dissipating energy through their bending.
I’m so sorry to hear that. Will continue to pray for you and your wife.
Thank you for these words today, Amber. Tears as I read this: “He’s been called a friend of sinners. And, rightfully so, since he’s a friend of mine. The benefits of this relationship so lavishly extended to me are as freeing as they are mind-blowing.” I needed that reminder today.
I come from Christchurch, New Zealand, where many people lost their lives in a horrendous earthquake. My Mum was very close to the biggest buildings that collapsed in the centre and my best friend lost a church friend (mother of a little four year old) in one of those buildings. We experienced it first-hand on a visit months later, when our oldest was just one, with aftershocks of 6.3 on the richter scale. Aftershocks continued for years…it’s been a little quieter for a while now. I then began to understand why mental health services have been stretched to the core. At the time, I was far from God: what a blessing it is to have our Heavenly Father’s arms to rest in, when these things hit. Praying over you and your family.
Wow, I haven’t heard about that! How terribly sad. The ongoing aftershocks are very taxing mentally, especially if they are waking you up often. I really struggled until they tapered off.
I’m so humbled the Lord would use my words to touch your heart. I praise God for restoring your relationship with him. It is a blessing to hear from you. God bless.
Thank you so much for this post!! I love it!! I shared it with my Dad who is 82 and spent 27 years on three different mission fields. He just lost his wife, my mom, of 64 years and is beginning to fail a bit in his health. He has been expressing a lot of fear lately about the situation in America. I read your post to him over the phone today and am praying that God will use it to calm his heart. Thanks again for loving, serving, and trusting in the Living God!
Pastor Doug McClain New Testament Baptist Church Hamilton, Ontario
Praise the Lord for your faithfulness to love and encourage your father and for the life he has lived for the Lord. I am just just thanking God for using these words today and for the ministry of prayer He has given me through this blog. I will certainly remember your father. Thank you for sharing this sweet story.
“The benefits of this relationship so lavishly extended to me are as freeing as they are mind-blowing.” I also find this to be true. Knowing that God is with me and loves me helps me every day. No matter what my circumstances are whether good or bad, He gives me a peace that I can’t manufacture or find anywhere else.
Blessings to you, Amber!
So true, Gayl. Thanks for writing here. It’s such a blessing to hear about God’s faithfulness to his servants all over the world.
“The benefits of this relationship so lavishly extended to me are as freeing as they are mind-blowing.” – Amen! It saddens me when people lose their lives, and I have to return to the Word to remind me of God’s big love and bigger plan that He is carrying out. I am glad you can encourage people through this. Thank you so much for sharing truth and linking up last week at #TeaAndWord!
Thanks, Meg! I find myself going back to the Word again and again at times like these. I missed all the link-ups this week, but I will be back next week. Thanks for welcoming me!
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