Posted by: Jo | September 22, 2022

Our Refuge In the Storm

“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm.”

(Isaiah 25:8)

When I was a young mother, my husband was working on a remote island in the Pacific and I and my three little girls went with him. It was a 2-year term, but my youngest a 3-year-old, became ill and needed an operation on her tonsils, so we had to get back to Australia to a hospital, so I boarded a cargo boat, the only means of transport, with the three little girls, my husband had to stay to work so we headed back on a 10-day trip. Halfway through the journey the captain announced we were heading into a hurricane there was no land in sight, so he had a list of precautions all the passengers had to follow. Stay in our cabins, remove all movable objects off dressing tables, secure suitcases, wedge chairs under children bunks to keep them from rolling out. The storm was to hit at nightfall. My first thoughts were that my husband was going to lose all his family in one terrible night. It was a terrifying night, but God proved to be our refuge. No, he didn’t stop the storm, but he brought us all safely through it. Day break saw the wind drop, the huge waves die down, he had kept us safe. 

God knew his children would always need refuge and in the book of Numbers we read that right from the beginning he told the children of Israel to set aside towns of refuge if people needed somewhere to escape. 

“Six of the towns you give to the Levites will be cities of refuge…” (Numbers 35: 6)

He also asks us to offer help to foreigners and to those who need help, a refuge for those who have nowhere to go. 

“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.” (Deuteronomy 10: 18)

One of my friends is doing just that. We have all viewed with horror the war raging in Ukraine and seeing hundreds of poor fleeing from their country to other countries, desperately needing a refuge to escape to. My friend is providing a refuge for 3 Ukrainian young women by taking them into her own home, giving then food and shelter. She is living God’s word 

Sometimes the refuge needed is a quiet place to share worries, grief, storms of emotional turmoil, the Lord knew this and urged his followers to be hospitable, even inviting a friend facing one of these storms, to coffee, a meal, or a walk in a tranquil place. In this way, the troubled friend has refuge in sharing with a comforting friend. Loneliness is a big problem in our cities where seniors sit alone in small apartments, an invitation to a family dinner provides a refuge for that person. 

Whatever the storm we are facing the Lord is always ready to be our refuge. 

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” (Psalm 9: 9)


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