A Refuge for the Abandoned
Everything was going so well for so long—Goliath, worship leader for the king, warrior, king's cabinet, king’s son-in-law and then everything fell apart!
Christ is our Refuge—but not if we can’t see His open arms.
Sometimes, in the lives of some believers, there comes a point so low that we actually feel that everyone—even God, has abandoned us. That is where we find David in Psalm 13.
In Psalm 13 we will see that Christ can’t be our refuge if we don’t hear His invitation to flee to Him. Christ can’t be our refuge if we don’t even remember He is there. And sometimes we have to hit bottom, or go through dark waters, or face incredible convulsions in our lives to see Him—even though He’s been there all the time.
I learned that lesson deeply at 27,000 feet. Flying home a couple of years ago from Shepherds Conference in LA gave me an insight I’ll never forget. Having flown enough to have heard the safety lecture at the preflight prep time dozens of times, I usually am reading and ignore it all, never thinking about anything other than what I need to do before we land.
This particular flight was non-eventful. I had an empty seat beside me that became my desk and as the world slowly drifted by out the window I worked. After a bit, clouds began to darken the sky and I had to turn on the light to see--but I just kept studying. Then a reminder to fasten seatbelts was ordinary and uncommon.
But all of a sudden I started listening when the plane did the first roller coaster move. Then I paid attention. Soon we were dropping, and then going straight up like an elevator. Then a real hard jolt knocked open a few overhead compartments and things fell out, and there were some scattered cries of fear.
From that moment on all I thought about was--who exactly was up front flying this plane? How much experience do they have? How skilled are they in thunderstorm management? What tremendous lesson did I learn about flying? We don’t pay much attention to it if all goes smoothly.
Who ever even thinks about the pilot until the weather gets rough? Until the world around us jolts, jumps, rocks and swerves—then all of a sudden that is all we think about. Who is steering this careening machine? Suddenly we realize how important the pilot really is, and that our life is in their hands.
The same is true in life. The fewer bumps, the more we ignore the pilot. The smoother the ride, the more we forget the One in whose hands is our life. But let the rough family times come, the roller coaster ride of our emotions, the crash of our finances, or the sudden plummet of our health—then we think about the pilot.
To be abandoned means once you were not.For the true child of God there is always some awareness of this truth, regardless of how deep his or her depression may be. We may be depressed even to the point of feeling utterly abandoned. But the fact that we feel abandoned itself means that we really know God is there. To be abandoned you need somebody to be abandoned by. Because we are Christians and have been taught by God in Scripture, we know that God still loves us and will be faithful to us, regardless of our feelings.
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