God our Refuge
Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
- Psalm 16:1-2
This week’s passage begins with David the psalmist experiencing great distress. Throughout his life, David wandered into danger on the battlefield and in the throne room. The fact that David didn’t just survive but actually thrived is a testament to God’s hand of protection on his life. But you don’t need to know much of David’s story to benefit from his wisdom.
In today’s passage we see David calling out to God for protection. Distress pushes David toward prayer. Life’s painful experiences re-direct David back toward the God who loves him. He leaned more heavily on God when times got hard.
Our temptation in hard times is to rely all the more heavily on our own strength, effort, and ingenuity. On the other hand, some of us are quick to call or text someone else and ask them to help us, even to pray for us, well before we’ve taken the time to pray ourselves. We can begin looking for rescue in random places. For some of us, trying times actually cause us to try to hide from God.
Though David looks for refuge from life’s storms, he isn’t interested in just any refuge. He wants to be with God. David has a very particular type of rescue in mind.
David’s confidence that the Lord loves him shows up in today’s text. David believed that the safest place for him would be in the Lord’s presence.
A great deal of life’s busyness can be driven by our failure to explore the possibility that “God can help us” and “God wants to help us.” We go looking for help everywhere else.
What difference would it make in your life if you consistently looked to the Lord for every good thing? How would that practice impact your experience of hard times?