Psalm 9:9-10

The LORD is a refuge for the persecuted, a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you
 because you have not abandoned those who see you, LORD.
Psalm 9:9-10
Psalm 9 was written by King David, worshiping God after a successful victory over his enemies. He presumably saw death and suffering, felt worry and doubt, yet was able to praise God for his faithfulness. This psalm has been an encouragement to me as I am reminded daily how little control I have over my present circumstances. Verses 9-10 declare that God is our refuge in times of trouble, and he will not forsake those who seek him.  
 
One of the terms we have had to collectively learn and adjust to in our current time of uncertainty is to “shelter in place.” It’s traditionally used during or after emergency situations to ensure people seek safety and shelter immediately where they are. Depending on the situation, it can invoke feelings of urgency and fear as we desire a quick resolution so we can return to our normal activities.
 
David’s use of the term “refuge” in verse 9 is quite relevant to our own current circumstances. Refuge is often defined as a place of shelter, protection or safety. The Lord is our stronghold, a fortress – well-fortified and safe from our enemies. He is our shelter, and yet I admit when I become anxious, I forget to run to God as my shelter. Instead I often sound like the Puritan author who in The Valley of Vision says, ‘Giver of all graces, I look to thee for strength to maintain them in me, for it is hard to practice what I believe’. (emphasis added)
 
I shared these thoughts with my 11-year-old son, and asked what, if anything, (since he tends to be bluntly honest) he thought. His response? ‘When I am anxious, I should run to God for shelter’.
 
When you face times of trouble or uncertainty, is running to God your first response? Or do you respond in fear, control, despondency, or avoidance? What has become your refuge – do you turn to tv, food, job, finances or family for shelter? Or do we turn to the God who made us, and is faithful to save us, for shelter?
 
While we physically shelter in place, let’s focus on moving our hearts to seek refuge in God, the giver of grace and peace.
Megan Okesson