Taking Refuge

Soon summer will be fully upon us. Praise the Lord! But when I was a little boy, the late spring and early summer could mean storms, and swelling creeks all around us. And thus spring, beautiful as it was, meant a time for potential danger.  In those seasons when storms threatened our little chicken farm, on the Louisianan-Mississippi border, I had to out into the chicken yard and gather up all of the bitties, the chicks, and rescue them from the coming storm. We had a special place for them to keep them safe unto the storm had passed. It was not only my responsibility but also my heart’s duty to go and search extensively for every single chick and bring them into the safety of the coop.

As believers we know that any season can be a season of promise, but also a season of challenge. Family, health, relationships, sales quotas, bank overdrafts and even church work can all be like that—seasons of promise and seasons of challenge. But all the more then, we should be realizing that every season is a season to care for each other. Every season is a season to watch out for others, to inquire about family life, and without being “nosy” to let them know that “you are there for them.” This is more than being a “good co worker” it is being a friend, someone who is there to even help carry them, or find someone to carry them, should a sudden storm appear in their lives. It has been said that the greatest counselors are all of you: on the front lines, ready to give a good word, or to listen quietly, or just to “be there.”

For sometimes, we go through storms. And when storms come we need a refuge.  In our Christian faith, we take refuge in the love of the Lord Jesus who came for us, died for us, and rose again for us. This is the message of the resurrection—the ruling motif in our lives. But it is a message that reminds us that we all need refuge, just like those little bitties in the chicken yard when the storms came. This is what we read in the Psalms:

“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings” (Psalms 36.7).

Our refuge is not just in our faith, but in the Object of our faith. And as followers of the Good Shepherd our refuge can also be in each other, sharing our burdens and joys with each other. Making sure that we are talking, communicating about small things and big things each and every day is not just chatting, it is taking refuge in the community God has given us called the Church. The Lord bless you with refuge this day. And if you don’t have it, seek it, first in Christ, through His Word, the Bible, and through prayer and worship in a local assembly of saints who are also seeking Him. There you will find shelter in times of storms. We really don’t have to go it alone.

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About Michael Milton, Ph.D.

Michael A. Milton, Ph.D. (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David's College), is an American Presbyterian pastor, theologian, and author. He is, also, an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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