“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.” (Psalms 16:1)
Flawless picture of our God and how he encircles us with his own life-saving reinforcement. Though “preserve” seems like an odd, old-fashioned word that rarely pops into our conversations or texts, that little verb is packed with hope. In this cry, we are asking God to keep us safe from harm or injury. We are begging him to keep us alive, to keep watch over us, to protect us.
Not a tough job for God.
But what might be our part in all of this?
The verse reminds us that we are called to take refuge in God, to turn to him for shelter, protection from danger, or trouble of any sort. That might mean doing something as mundane as remembering how he provided for us in times past, how desperate we were, how he showed up and turned our circumstances around.
It might mean writing out a short verse that meant a great deal to us a long time ago and reading it over and over again until it stains our mind like a permanent marker. A place to start might be one as simple as “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” (1 Peter 5:7 KJV) which strengthened you years ago.
God attends to our particular concerns, and, in fact, his thoughts toward us can’t even be tallied. The psalmist reminds us “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand” (Psalm 139:17-18).
He cares endlessly for his own the way a shepherd nurtures and shelters his sheep. He protects us the way a mother hen tucks her brood safely beneath her wings. Like a wise teacher dispensing advice, our God counsels us, filling up our minds with his perfect good sense. The way a life-long friend always knows what we are thinking and exactly what we need, our Lord clearly identifies the details pressing against our heart and shoulders the load instead.
God invites us to throw off that heavy burden he never meant for us to carry in the first place and hand over our aches, questions, or confusion to him.
He can handle it all. Every bit of it.
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever…But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works” (Psalm 73:26,28).
Elizabeth A Mitchell
Photo Credit: Joseph Barrientos