Kara’s Collection: The Choice

From an article originally posted October 22, 2013…

Every day presents itself with a myriad choices before each of us, choices in: actions, decisions, attitudes, and behavior. Jason and I are making decisions we never in our wildest dreams expected to be making, yet with each new step there seems to be not only a decision, but a choice in our attitude.

Yesterday, Jason and I found ourselves on the floor in the corner of a room barely able to speak, looking at each other in tears. I asked him if we could fight for sadness instead of taking on anger. We both committed to it. Perhaps there will be a moment for anger, but the harder path feels like sadness and walking in grief through our emotions.

Jason and I spend a lot of time asking ourselves, What does it mean for God to be our refuge? We love Psalm 46.

1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
— Psalm 46

What is it you think of when you think of refuge?

I had a grandma who was a refuge to me. When I was struggling with drugs and didn’t much like myself, I remember getting in my car and driving to her farm. I have never or since driven that fast in my entire life. I sped down open country roads eagerly anticipating the moment she would run out her screen door screaming, Mercy, mercy, look who came to visit. She loved me so big I didn’t need to tell her my struggles. She loved me, fed me, accepted me, and let me rest. I didn’t have to be different to be accepted by her; she tenderly loved me and made me feel safe.

So I think of that sweet picture of refuge as I think on Jesus. He loves me like that. He knows my story before I even come, he loves me, and offers me rest. He doesn’t require I change to be loved by him, and my tears are His to restore and wipe away. Certainly, He would embrace me angry, but that isn’t where I am right now. He’s a soft place for two very broken people right now.

I’m watching people who don’t know the refuge of Jesus struggle through our story. They struggle without peace and assurance. I am powerless to help. I offer Jesus, but in my own strength I have no power to take away the pain of our reality. I pray their hearts would come to know the peace I know that gives me the freedom to weep instead of rant, cry out to instead of cry out against, the joy to live while I’m still living instead of retreating into disbelief and anger. This breath I just took, it’s my reality today. I thank Jesus for this one and the next while it’s still with me. And in each new moment, I have this unshakable refuge in Jesus that carries me, loves me, whispers hope in my sad Selah.

What is it for God to be your refuge? What is it that God is a refuge?