Four hours from me lies the island of Assateague, Virginia. The area is a combination of public beach and national wildlife refuge. As a bird watcher I greatly enjoy visiting the area. In summer the place is full of tourists. In the winter it becomes a rather cold and lonely place, but if one is willing to brave the elements there are many different species of birds to be seen.
A wildlife refuge provides “a sheltered or protected state from something threatening, harmful, or unpleasant.” We might think of a haven, sanctuary, or harbor. When I read the analogy of the Lord being my refuge I think of Assateague, particularly during the winter. From what do the birds need protection? Predators, hunters, competition for food, and protection from the elements. Just as this island provides all those benefits, so God provides them for me.
I need a place of safety when Satan is trying to devour me with negativity and anxiety. Psalm 91:3 says that the Lord delivers me from the fowler’s snare. Sometimes I need protection from trying to do too much. Keeping my thoughts anchored in the safe harbor of God’s Word protects me from the pulls of the world’s values and belief system.
If I visit during Assateague’s winter desolation, I will see birds that are not there during warm, sunny weather. Just so, in the desolation of my suffering, God is conforming me into the image of His Son. Were it not for my pain, the character qualities that God desires to build in me might never develop.
Although no motels are permitted on the island of Assateague, there are various ones nearby. One is actually called The Refuge Inn. Spiritually speaking, I need to stay permanently “checked in” to God’s Refuge Inn. There I will find the shelter, protection, and safety of my loving God. And I may even see beauty in the desolation.
Prayer: Loving God, just as You are so faithful to shelter and protect me from harm, may I be faithful in trusting Your decisions and plans for my life. Amen.
About the author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in VA and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband and three grown daughters. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, and fibromyalgia. You may view her blog of devotionals at www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com.
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What do you need refuge from the most during winter, and how does God provide that for you?