Friday, April 30, 2010

Is He Your Refuge? by Heidi Avery

Question for your week: Is He Your Refuge?

Verse of your week: “Taste and see the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8

Application for your week: The word refuge means to trust, to put hope in, to make a refuge. A refuge is a place of safety, protection from danger. When I was a kid my grandparents would drive from Iowa to Texas to visit us in the summer. We anticipated their visit and couldn’t wait for them to arrive. When it was time for them to go home my mom would pack us up and we’d go back to Iowa with them and our parents would come to get us weeks later. We did this nearly every summer and it was something we all looked forward to. I don’t remember a lot of things from my childhood, but I do remember that I loved my grandparents. My grandmother would rock me in her beautiful, creaking, wooden rocking chair and I always felt so completely embraced and safe. I would sit in my grandfather’s lap and watch him draw funny pictures and we’d just laugh. I even remember the musty smell of their old basement with the rickety stairs. I loved that smell and the sound of those stairs when we walked down them. Their home was a safe haven for me. It was easy to put my trust in them, they spent time with me, and they loved me. I tasted their love for me and I saw their protection over me and I gladly took refuge in them.

Sadly, one year while we were visiting our grandparents our home in Texas burned down. Our parents drove out to get us as usual, but we came home to nothing. The circumstances surrounding our house burning down led to a court case and no insurance money. My father made the decision to put us in two travel trailers right on the property of our burned home. We literally opened our doors to the black burnt smelling structure that still contained all of our precious possessions. That home was once a refuge for me too. Those trailers were not. My parents shared a trailer and my sister and I shared a separate one. It didn’t feel safe and I was always scared when they locked us in at night. It wasn’t camping and it wasn’t fun. This was a difficult time for us all and I remember very little of our time there.

Our summer visits from my grandparents happened less and less and our trips back home with them eventually ended too. My grandfather died years later and though my grandmother still lives I’ve only seen her a handful of times over the years. Before my house burned down I thought we had everything a little girl could ever want, after I knew we had nothing. It’s like that, when we make our refuge a thing that surely will pass away, isn’t it?

Houses burn, people die, families break up, life happens and whenever we make our refuge a thing of this world it’s only a matter of time before it’s gone. It’s easy though, people make us “feel” loved, homes make us “feel” protected, jobs make us “feel” secure and because they are here and at our fingertips we make them our refuge. God graciously reminds us though “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our Lord stands forever” Isaiah 40:8

We are also clearly warned, something that becomes our refuge also easily because our idol. We must be cautious and heed the wise words of Isaiah 57:13 “When you cry out for help, let your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. But the man who makes me his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain."

Where is your refuge? Have you tasted and seen that the Lord is good? Is HE your refuge? In just the Psalms alone the bible tells us 52 times that the Lord is our refuge. That’s something He must have really wanted us to get, don’t you think?

When I was a kid I thought I had everything, and then the wind carried them off in a mere breath and I had nothing. When I met God I discovered that with Him I have everything and I know nothing will separate me from the Love of my Jesus (Romans 8:29). I have tasted and seen and He is good, He IS my refuge.

Challenge for your week: Remember your fist love, dwell there. Take an inventory of your life, pray and ask God to reveal any idols that you have taken as your refuge. Remember what 1 John 1:1-2 says “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was the Father and has appeared to us.” You have tasted and seen that the Lord is indeed good; make Him your only refuge!

A deeper look for your week: Spend some time reading through the Psalms, find the one that speaks to your heart and the circumstances you're in right now. Memorize it and make God your refuge. If you’re so inspired, go even further and write your own Psalm to the Lord. Are you lonely? Cry out for His presence! Are you scared, in trouble? Cry out for His protection! Maybe everything’s fine and you’re happy, then lift His name in praise and express your love for Him! Whatever it is, wherever you’re at He wants to be your refuge, trust Him now.


  1. I like your post. I told you that I was going to read them! :-)

  2. Thanks Heidi, that is the exact thing that guided me to Christ, the loss of Refuges. I am of course now thankful that I lost them, or I would have never fell to my knees in complete hopelessness, I would have never asked Jesus to take the steering wheel, I would have never tasted his saving grace!! There's been many time since that I have thought how unfair of me in the first place to put such a load on SOMEONES shoulders..make me happy!! They always fell short, it wasn't until I found God that I was truly in EVERY sense satisfied! I found out I don't need anyone, God is truly my refuge,,thanks so much for your stories and beautiful message!

  3. Wiping the tears... thanks for the message I so needed. Love you!