Taking Refuge

“How precious is your steadfast love, O God!  The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 36:7

This verse is printed on our daughter Hannah’s memorial stone at her grave.  One of the reasons we picked this verse was because during my pregnancy with Hannah, this verse or another verse mentioning the refuge of God’s wings (like Psalm 91:4) appeared several times on cards and gifts we received and it always comforted us.  The other reason we picked it is because her grave is in the shadow of the most beautiful tree, and this verse is so fitting for our child whose earthly body is resting in the tree’s shadow (and whose soul is eternally resting in the shadow of God’s wings).  The beginning of the verse is a reminder to Mace and me that God’s love is precious and steadfast.  He is always with us, and His love for us is deeper than we will ever know.

Ever since we visited Hannah’s grave last week on her Birthday, this verse has been on my heart.  I think the Lord keeps bringing it to mind because I haven’t done a great job at taking “refuge in the shadow of [His] wings” lately.  There have been a lot of things going on, and while I could fill this entire post with all those things, the point is that they’ve been consuming me.  I haven’t been taking refuge in Him when I’m feeling overwhelmed, burdened, or in a funk.  Sometimes I will stop and pray and talk to God about it.  But after that brief prayer time, I usually try to get through everything on my own, and don’t sit in God’s refuge for long.

Notice the first part of that verse is praising God for His steadfast love.  That is why we can take refuge in Him–it’s because of His steadfast love.  The refuge He provides is never-ending and never-wavering.  It doesn’t matter what we are going through.  His refuge of steadfast love will provide the safe place that we need as we are fighting battles left and right.  The water has been deep in my life the past few weeks.  Some days I could barely keep my head above the water as I treaded water trying not to drown.  But His love is deeper still.  The shadow of His wings is enough to cover me, hold me up, and lead me on through the deepest of waters.

A well-known verse says,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

But how often do I do that?  How often do I come when I am weary and burdened?  Do I seek His rest or do I exhaust myself doing it with my own strength? What about you? Do you struggle with resting in the refuge God provides? Rest.  Rest in His refuge, dear one.  God is calling us to lay down our burdens and to rest in the shadow of His wings.  We weren’t meant to carry this load on our own.  Rest.  Lay it all down.  Then we may know deep peace and love that are deeper than the waters that surround us.

Pressing on in faith, Jennifer