Friday, April 17, 2009

Our Refuge and Our Strength

David knew a lot about the need for a refuge and for strength. He wrote quite a few psalms about this very topic. And each time, rather than finding a refuge in something--or someone--here on earth, he found his refuge in the Lord. Rather than deriving his strength from himself, he found his strength in the Lord.

One of my favorite psalms tells me that "God is our refuge and our strength, a present help in trouble." (46:1)

I've been needing a refuge lately. My roller-coaster of a life continues, and more moments than I can say have had me crying out to God and seeking shelter in His arms. I've found great comfort in knowing His arms are ready to envelop me with His love.

His refuge offers a shelter from the storm.

I've written before that there are days when I just don't think I can do it on my own, and on those days, I reach out my hand and ask for a supernatural strength. This verse affirms that I will receive that strength--even if it's just enough to get through one day at a time.

His strength gives the ability to walk through the storm.

I don't know about you, but this reminder--from a well-known and well-loved verse--was exactly what I needed this morning.

I pray it encourages you as well.

Friday, April 03, 2009

A Roller Coaster Ride

I love roller coasters as much as the next person. The anticipation as you go up, up, up . . . and the drop of the stomach--which is a good thing!--as you plunge at the speed of light . . . or so it seems. (For those of you who hate roller coasters, I apologize!) The curves, the loop-di-loops.

It's a rush of adrenaline and a touch of fear all wrapped up together. But all but the most diehard eventually want to get off the ride.

Sometimes life feels like a roller coaster, but one without an end.

The last few weeks have been that way for me.

My ride started a few weeks ago with a severe virus that kicked the stuffing out of me. Just as I was beginning to recover from that, Ruth, my mother-in-law, who's battling cancer, experienced some pretty scary complications. The stress from my illness and her declining health triggered a flare-up of a chronic condition I struggle with.

Over the last 12 days, we've watched Ruth decline and improve and decline and improve. It's been painful. We're still not sure what the prognosis is, but it appears the cancer may be winning.

Up and down. Lefts and rights.

The roller coaster continues, and for now, there's no end to the ride in sight.