Have you ever wanted to run away and hide? Maybe it’s personal troubles and you just don’t want to be around people. Maybe relationships in the family aren’t going so well and it’s time for another family reunion. Maybe you look at all the troubles in this world and you just want to escape from it all. As someone put it, “I don’t want to adult today. I’m going to hide in my blanket fort where no one can find me and sit there and color.” Hmmm…someone else thinks that way too. Maybe if all the people who felt that way could get together we could start a movement of some kind, or stop all the craziness that’s going on.
David must have felt like that often – especially before he became king. He was chased by Saul all over the land in and around Israel. He was ridiculed by people like Nabal. Sometimes his actions caused people who helped him to be killed. There was a lot of weight on his shoulders and on his conscience. David needed a chance to “get away from it all” during those terrible days. He found his rest, his refuge, in God. “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” (Psalm 28:7)
If you need a break from the world today, the key is to take that break with God. Spend time with Him. Read His word. Pray. David understood that need. Notice how he described God. God is his strength and his shield. When troubles are assaulting you from every side, it saps your strength. You’ve probably had those days when you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning because even after a night’s sleep, you feel drained and weary. As the day goes on you may even think that the biggest mistake of the day was crawling out of bed. As we turn to God we gain strength. That doesn’t mean that everything is going to be perfect, it means that we can stand up and face the day. God is also our shield. Whatever troubles may come, we can turn them aside by focusing on God. Our family saying as my wife has gone through all sorts of physical difficulties in the last fifteen months is “God’s got this.” It doesn’t mean that there isn’t pain. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have fear. It means that we know that whatever happens, god will walk with us and that He will watch over us.
We do live in troubled times today. We wonder about the workings of God in the midst of these evil days. We see our brothers persecuted around the world. We see evil and hatred flowing from Christian and non-Christian alike. We see Christians arguing, not discussing but arguing with each other over the problems of this world and there is no brotherly love. It’s tempting to jump in and show those people on the other side how wrong they are and how right you are. When you get that feeling, maybe this suggestion will help: turn aside your anger. Get away from it, temporarily, and look to God for strength and protection. Trust God. Pray and Praise. Experience the joy of the Lord. Eventually you’ll leave the retreat and join in to deal with the problems of the world. We must. Christians aren’t called to avoid the problems of the world; Christians are called minister in the midst of those problems with love and grace. We can’t do that when we argue and fight among ourselves. We can’t do that if we “know” that we are right and those who disagree with us are wrong. We can only do that by finding ways to minister to others in the name of Jesus.
Oh Lord, remind me of Your love and presence in these troubled times. Let me experience Your grace and share Your love and mercy with those who need it. Make me a minister of Your love to a world in need.