Our Refuge

But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. – Psalm 73:28

There are times in all of our lives where we feel that the Lord is distant and far from us. I know there are times when I have felt distant from the Lord. Sometimes, it is when things are not going so well and it feels like the world is crushing in on us. Our circumstances overwhelm us and we feel helpless and alone. Our attention is drawn to the immediate trials in front of us and we resonate with King David in Psalm 13 when he cries out “How long O Lord”?

Other times when we seem distant from God, things are going well. Life is good. The sun is shining and bills are paid. No one is sick and the house, somehow, has stayed relatively clean. That vacation is here and we get busy with good things. Then, before we know it, our time in God’s Word has dwindled and our time of prayer is limited to small moments before a meal or before we lie down at night. Then it comes. An emptiness that we just can’t seem to fill and that joy we experience in times when things are just not enough. 

When these times come, we need to remember the words of the Psalmist - that it is good for us to be near God. We are reminded that in times of trouble and in times of plenty, the best place for us to be is near God. He is our provider, sustainer, and Savior. Sounds great right? But time and time again we find ourselves distant. So how do we fight against the distant feeling? The Psalmist gives us great 
instruction for that too. 

The first thing is we consistently make God our refuge. This is a responsibility on us. We need to commit to Him. Psalm 37:5 says Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. We are often ok with giving God our leftover time and attention and we are surprised when He seems distant. That is not how God works. We need to strive to begin with Him. 

I was challenged this week to ultimately begin my day with the Lord with these questions: How often do we grab our phones instead of our Bibles the first thing in the morning? How often do we answer emails or messages before we spend time in prayer with the Lord? What we do first thing in the morning sets the tone for the day and when we begin it with the Lord, well, that sets our minds on things above first. 

The second way the Psalmist tells us to strive to be near the Lord is to tell of all His deeds. We need to remind ourselves first of all the goodness God has and is doing. He has called us to Himself, pulled us out of the realm of darkness, and brought us into His marvelous light. He has promised to never leave us or forsake us and keep us as His possession. Then, we need to tell others of all He has done. This means sharing how God has been good. I don’t think we do that enough. We need to be eager to share and celebrate all that God has done. He never does anything small. We just make it seem small. 

It is good to be near God. What an incredible Truth!

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