I’m about to live out in my gazebo.
A weird thing to say, I know, but hear me out.
I love being outside. When the warmer temps return, when the spring weather settles in for good, that gazebo goes up once again in our yard and I practically live out there, non-stop.
From the time the sun rises until long after I’ve lit all my twinkly lights and lanterns, outside in my little refuge is where I’ll be.
It’s where we’ll entertain friends, feed the family, snooze after a long hot day, watch the sun go down, play Battleship and Scrabble, and did I mention eat all the food?
And it’s where I’ll write posts, study and read, dream, plan.
Live out there! I wasn’t joking.
And after the longest stretch of chilly, drizzly, gusty in-like-a-lion-weather, we were able to put it up just last night.
You know I did a jig. Parked myself out there with a sigh in the sunset.
You know I was out there first thing today with my piles of books, journals, pens, breakfast, tea, cozy throw…. this is where I will live until the end of October, when my family will strategize on how to drag me out of there kicking and screaming or debate on whether to let the first snow freeze me to the deck permanently.
And I call it my refuge because it’s where I breathe easily.
The fresh air, the mature trees surrounding the house, the breezes, the garden… my weary winter-battered dysthymic brain finds release outside. I do my best to make my small house cozy and welcoming and easy… but after too long, my depression can feed off of the season of closed in spaces, feeling anxious and agitated.
But out in the gazebo, there is release from the grip of the enemy called
Still outside, but also protected. From harsh sun, from bugs and grit, and especially storms, my gazebo is where I thrive.
So I also ask my heart and my soul, while I sit in my quiet corner of the city, where is your refuge? And are you living there in it?
I open the Word to read about finding refuge in the Creator King, to make sure that my whole being acknowledges that better than any garden structure is the One in whom I have the best refuge ever.
And so here are three important things we need to remember about His holy refuge provided for us, today:
Refuge in Him means absolute security.
In the fourteen or so passages I found without hardly trying, they all declare one thing across the board. He is immovable. Secure. A fortress. A rock. A shelter unshifting. He’s not going anywhere no matter what comes ripping across, or raining down, or surging up. Find yourself dwelling in Him, and you can be completely safe.
Over the years we’ve watched neighbours put up pretty, ornate, metal gazebos, wrestling with the canopy and canvas and netting panels and directions for connecting it all, only to have a storm move in a month later, and pick that structure up and toss it like a kite three yards over.
Even the most well put-together structure will get knocked down or tossed around unless it’s anchored down. Secured.Even the most well put-together structure will get tossed around unless it's anchored down. Click To Tweet
After Perry a.k.a Wilson & Son put up the frame of the gazebo, before anything else takes place, they anchor that sucker to the actual decking that it rests on. With bolts the size of Texas. Plus, it’s anchored within the strongest corner of our deck. This thing has never moved one iota once done. Every year, never even a shimmy in the wildest weather.
That’s our God. “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.” Psalm 46: 1-3
Sounds pretty solid to me, friend.
Refuge in Him means rest.
My dysthymia fades within the little space I carve out there in my yard. I breathe. I can tackle a thousand emails surrounded by planters spilling with flowers, and birds singing. A sweet breeze and some sunshine boosts my focus and lifts the brain fog that goes hand in hand with chronic depression, or even just the normal stress of the daily routine is more doable. And for someone who also has sleep issues due to my mood disorder, my best naps are under that cool canvas shelter under the trees.
If you don’t struggle with mental health issues, for your day to be doable is such a big thing, you don’t even know.
I find complete rest the same way in Him.
He blocks out all the things that would try to strangle our mustard-seed-faith. And He allows for us to find restoration. To take time in Him to revive. To allow Him to take on all the hard things for us.
He is our rest and respite. Deuteronomy 33:27 mentions His everlasting arms which carry us. I love the visual of the Almighty reaching down to shelter and carry us in His arms where we can safely rest for all of our lives.
Refuge in Him means deliverance.
This is big. Better than catching your breath or catching a break is finding the solution within the refuge. Finding victory.Better than catching your breath or catching a break is finding the solution within the refuge. Click To Tweet
Finding out He has already dealt with it on your behalf. Or is about to. And plans to do so in the future.
In other words, He’s got this.
I don’t know what you’ve been craving protection from or needing rescuing for, but when He is our shelter, our Strong Tower, we have to know that His resolution for you is bigger and grander than you’ve been able to imagine. For me, this means I need to stop trying to define deliverance the way the world does. I have to take it out of the human box and allow the meaning to take on a holy definition. And my timing won’t apply either.
Within His shelter, it’s His timing and His alone. Let’s make it more about His promises and less about our timetable.
“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” Psalm 18:2
“For You have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall.” Isaiah 25:4
“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run into it and they are safe.” Proverbs 18:10
Let’s sink into His refuge and let Him deliver on every provision He’s ever promised that He’d supply.
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