“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”–2 Samuel 22:31
My husband and I took a little canoe trip up the Lake Superior shoreline last week. Destination: the Cranberry River, that feeds into Lake Superior. We watched the morning breezes begin to stir up the glassy waters of Lake Superior and knew we couldn’t wait much longer to get on the lake. Pretty soon the wind would whip up the water and the waves would be too rough to paddle in. So we put in the canoe, strapped on our life vests, and headed out into the chilly waters. As we paddled, the wind worked with us, but we still had to steer and push ourselves through the water, and little by little, we watched the shoreline go by. At the entrance to the river, we had to push the canoe over a sandbar, before sliding it into the calm dark waters of the river. I took the paddle eagerly, dipping it in the still waters. Here was a sanctuary, protection from the wind and rough waves.
As we lazily paddled, it took almost no effort to move the canoe forward. Dipping our paddles ever so slightly, we watched reeds and grasses slip by, observed birds flying overhead, and enjoyed the buzz of insects around us. Glass-clear water allowed us to see to the bottom where we observed waving water weeds and tiny fish. Turtles sunned themselves on nearby logs. I relaxed and sat back, enjoying the ride. As we came to bend after bend, I gently stuck my paddle behind the boat, watching out for logs, sticks, and hanging branches, steering us around obstacles.
Our return onto Lake Superior and back up the shoreline was not as relaxed. We paddled vigorously into the wind, slicing our paddles deep into the green-blue water, pulling and pushing with all our strength. We got further from the shoreline to paddle into the oncoming waves, a few times feeling the swell beneath the silver belly of the canoe, and I was convinced we might be pushed over. Finally, safe at last on shore, I was able to marvel at the marked difference between a feeling of being in rough waters and that of being in a sanctuary on the river. One we had to fight, the other we could put down our guard and just enjoy the peace. It felt like a type of refuge.
I like the words from David above. God is our shield and our refuge. We can go to Him when life roughs us up and find quiet and peace for our souls. He is our refuge from the daily challenges of life. Won’t you seek His refuge today?
Prayer–“God of refuge, thank you for shielding us from the challenges of life when we need it most. Help us rely on your strength and seek you as a sanctuary, instead of going other places to find peace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”