A Refuge to Run To

Gwen SmithBlog 35 Comments

Our boo boo bunny was pink and lived in the freezer. We used it a lot. When my kids were small, I loved to take them outside or to the park for play dates. Often there was at least a dab of drama, usually because someone got hurt. When they fell and skinned their knees, my littles didn’t run to their friends… they ran to me. They knew I would help clean up boo boos, get them a Toy Story bandage, wipe away their tears and hold them. Because I’m their mom. The one who loves them and could be trusted to care for them.

In Psalm 61:4, the psalmist cried to God saying that he longed to take refuge in the shelter of His wings. Who’s allowed under the wings of a mama bird? Only her babies. The wings of a mama bird, or arms of a parent, is an intimate place. Close to a beating heart. This type of shelter is personal. For family only.

Psalm 61 is a powerful reminder that no matter where we are or what we’re going through, we can cry out to God for help. David was in a fragile place, desperate for God. Forced to flee because his son Absalom had rebelled against him. He’d been betrayed by his own flesh and blood, and the sting of betrayal, as we all know, is painfully damaging.

David ran to God seeking refuge when he was hurting and overwhelmed.

“God, hear my cry; pay attention to my prayer. I call to you from the ends of the earth when my heart is without strength. Lead me to a rock that is high above me, for you have been a refuge for me, a strong tower in the face of the enemy. I will dwell in your tent forever and take refuge under the shelter of your wings.” (Psalm 61:1-4 CSB)

His heart had grown faint… so David ran to the shelter of God’s wings. Just like my kids used to run to me back in the day.

I read this and remember that when our hearts grow faint, when we’re overwhelmed, we should run to the Lord. Because He’s our Abba Father. Our Daddy who loves us and can be trusted to care for us.

Whether your earthly father was good to you or not, God does family right.

God cares for His own with unwavering faithfulness.

He defends and protects, whispering hope to desperate, disappointed, delicate hearts.

You are His precious child. Fully seen and perfectly loved. Because of this, you can take your place in the shelter of His wings and nestle up in the intimate warmth of His safe, strong, compassionate arms.

 

Dear Lord,
Thank You for being the perfect Father I can run to when life is overwhelming. Help me to trust You in the deep places when I’m prone to depend on myself.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

What has your heart faint?

Read Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.”

Look at what God tells us in the passage and then pause to reflect on the “why” behind the “what” in each section of the verse. Thank God for His powerful, peace-giving presence. Write a prayer of response on the wall of my blog or post a prayer request.

Thanks for doing life with me!
GWEN

 

MOM UPDATE: My mom (MaryLou Eisaman) is doing relatively well overall in her battle pancreatic cancer. She gets chemo every two weeks and has hydration therapy twice a week to help curb side effects and keep her hydrated. They are watching a few spots on her liver that appear cancerous, so we are praying the chemo will effectively eradicate any spots and/or rogue cells in her system. Her weight is still low and her appetite is still small, so we’d love to see both of those increase. Thank you for your prayers and concern! You are a treasure!

 

Got some dreams that you’re ready to prioritize and make happen? Do you desire to be mentored professionally and challenged as you progress toward your goals? Gain focus, bolster your courage and sharpen your competencies through 1-on-1 personal, ministry or business coaching. Spots are limited. Learn more at GwenSmith.net/Coaching.

 

 

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Comments 35

  1. My marriage has my heart faint. We just had a baby girl, and we are basically on the brink of divorce. We had issues prior to having our baby, but things were seemingly getting better. But unfortunately it was not. We are not in a good place and most days I struggle with wanting to stay in the marriage for the long haul. I’m trying to keep it together for our baby girl, but it is rough. I’ve been praying and asking God for wisdom and guidance during this season. This is a lot to deal with 5 months postpartum and returning to work a few weeks ago. Thank you in advance for your prayers!

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      Author

      Oh, Colleen. I’m so sorry to hear about the pain you are going through. Those first years of marriage are so tough! I remember the struggles and turmoils I went through in the younger years of marriage and they are layers of complicated. I also remember the number my hormones did on me emotionally post-partum. In times of anxiety give thanks. It’s impossible to be anxious and grateful at the same time. Praying for you now.

      Here’s a book I encourage you to read and work through personally. Commit to the 40 day love dare and write back to me about what God does! https://amzn.to/3MgDyk1

      Blessings and love,
      GWEN

  2. Thank you for being with me always Lord, for holding me up, when I can’t stand. Thank you for creating a way when I see none. Thank you for your favor over me and my household: Errol, Shaday and Loki. I lift them up to you and I pray your continued coverage over them. I pray Errol and Shaday will know you, trust you, and praise you in all things, for you are above all and worthy to be praised. Bless this family of believers that come here to this blog to pray and praise you. You know their needs and according to your will you supply each and every one. We thank you, we praise you eternally. We lift up your holy name, just because you are, in Jesus name amen.

  3. I ask that you please pray for my son, he is 21 years old in college and has decided he doesn’t want anything to do with us anymore. He has turned his back on God and does not like or speak to his father anymore. Please pray that he will forgive and turn back to the Lord and realize how much we love him. And pray that he will be surrounded by Godly influences in his life.

  4. Praying for your mom, Gwen🙏

    Pls help me pray for my husband, Frank and I, Claudia’s marriage – restoration & renewal. But most importantly, God’s will in our lives and of our two young daughters.

  5. Going Through Things in My LIFE at this Time as Well. I KNOW and BELIEVE MY FATHER HAS HIS ARMS WIDE OPEN FOR ME. PRAYING FOR YOUR MOM.

  6. Thank you Lord for your word in Ps 41:10. You’re a good father and I love you and will continue to trust you that everything will alright!

  7. I have a rare lung disease that I need prayer for. I really need a miracle and I know that can only come from God! Thank you!

  8. Thank You Jesus for being there through all my hurts, pains and sins I have committed. Thank You for loving me and staying with me until I got my life in order. I am generally conscious of all my daily sin and thank You for forgiving me. Jesus, You know who I was and what I am today. Thank You my Lord for helping me find my way home 🙏.

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      Author

      Heavenly Father, You know and see all. You are loving and compassionate. You are holy and all-powerful. Please lead Mia’s daughter and son-in-law in your mercy, grace, holiness and healing, Do what only You can do, Lord. Move in ways that will bring You glory and bring life to what may humanly appear dead. In Jesus’ name, amen.

  9. Dear heavenly Father God in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ today I just want to give thanks for all of the wonderful things that the Lord has done for us I pray that women in the body of Christ we will continue to run to the Lord who is our refuge and our strength when we are overwhelmed by every day circumstances Jesus I give you thank for Gwen for the encouraging devotion she share with with us to encourage a sister along her way thanks you Lord. Amen

  10. Thank you for your devotion. I needed it today. Several months ago, my family moved to be closer to my father after the death of my mother. I have two sisters who still live with him and were caring for him. I thought our help would be appreciated. Six weeks after the move, he died. My sisters act as if I’m not here. They call only if they need something. They reject mine and my husband’s attempts to help them. My entire life I was told I would get an equal share of everything. But I’m not. I’ve been cut out of the inheritance and I’m not sure why. My sisters say they were unaware of what Daddy did, and I want to believe them, but I’m having sleepless nights and crying jags and am probably on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I need prayer, not platitudes. My husband is supportive but, being a man, is trying to think of a solution when there isn’t one, at least not one that will be easy.

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      Author

      Ugh, I’m so sorry, Karen! That’s really hard. Praying for you now.

      “Though the mountains be shaken
      and the hills be removed,
      yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
      nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
      says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” (Isaiah 54:10)

  11. Thank you for the reminder of Psalm 61. I will trust in the shelter of thy wings. Safety and comfort. Thank you Lord.

  12. I have four children each living with their significant others. I’m heartbroken, ashamed, disappointed, angry. I have every emotion under the sun. I pray for each of them every day. I’m most disappointed in myself. I beat myself up everyday wondering where my husband and I went wrong. I love my children and want the best for their lives. Please pray they find their way.

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      Author

      RG … Breathe in His fresh mercies this morning! Free will in humanity is a very real thing. I’m sorry you are bearing the weight of this child-burden. Family is complicated for all of us. Praying for you and your people now.

      Gwen

  13. I am anxious for my husband. He has to have more biopsies on his prostate and I’m afraid it’s cancerous. I cannot bare the thought of losing him. I keep asking God to heal him. My husband is remaining calm but I’m not, even though I’m supposed to have faith.

  14. Please pray for my daughter Jamala Tyson who is recovering from breast cancer that God will open a way for us to afford her medication Verzenio which is very expensive. Thank you for your prayers.

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      Author

      Hi Charlotte! Thanks for asking. My mom is doing relatively well overall in the battle with her pancreatic cancer. She gets chemo every two weeks and has hydration therapy twice a week to help curb side effects and keep her hydrated. They are watching a few spots on her liver that appear cancerous, so we are praying the chemo will effectively eradicate any spots and/or rogue cells in her system. Her weight is still low and her appetite is still small, so we’d love to see both of those increase. Thank you for your prayers and concern! You are a treasure!

      Gwen

  15. I so appreciate your uplifting messages. I would like request prayers for my family, especially my children as we have the Celebration of Life for my husband. Prayers that it will be a positive and loving time for all.

    Also, prayers for the conflict in Israel (and Ukraine) Such a troubling time our world is facing.

  16. This resonated with me as I’ve spent the past 2 days helping my youngest son pack for deployment to Japan in January. It’s his first overseas assignment and I’m having a hard time with it. Please pray that I can release him and all my anxiety to the Lord and for his protection as he goes abroad to serve. He’s very excited about the opportunity, it’s my Mama heart that doesn’t want him so far away in these uncertain times. Please pray that I will have a peace that God will be watching over him.

  17. I have been awake throughout the night, struggling to keep my mind from wandering with worries about this month’s finances and my husband’s upcoming kidney transplant. Last night, I felt a sense of despair. However, after reading today’s reflections, it seems that things may not be as dire as they appear because God is with me. Dear Father, I am incredibly grateful that you are by my side during this challenging journey. While fear is a real emotion and can serve as a useful alarm system, please help me understand that it is alerting me to trust in you and not to believe that I am alone in this. Thank you for the reassurance that you will guide me and hold my hand throughout this entire process. Countless times during the night, I expressed my weariness, yet you reminded me that you will give me strength. Father, your words never cease to amaze me. You speak to me in the most comforting ways, encouraging me as your beloved daughter to come and seek solace in your presence for as long as I need. You prepare me to stand tall and face the challenges that lie ahead today. I can hear you saying, “My child, this is nothing! I’ve got you. Let’s face these issues together because I care about you my precious daughter. Let’s fix today’s problems together.” What an incredible source of encouragement! All I can say is thank you, Dad.

  18. I have been awake throughout the night, struggling to keep my mind from wandering with worries about this month’s finances and my husband’s upcoming kidney transplant. Last night, I felt a sense of despair. However, after reading today’s reflections, it seems that things may not be as dire as they appear because God is with me. Dear Father, I am incredibly grateful that you are by my side during this challenging journey. While fear is a real emotion and can serve as a useful alarm system, please help me understand that it is alerting me to trust in you and not to believe that I am alone in this. Thank you for the reassurance that you will guide me and hold my hand throughout this entire process. Countless times during the night, I expressed my weariness, yet you reminded me that you will give me strength. Father, your words never cease to amaze me. You speak to me in the most comforting ways, encouraging me as your beloved daughter to come and seek solace in your presence for as long as I need. You prepare me to stand tall and face the challenges that lie ahead today. I can hear you saying, “My child, this is nothing! I’ve got you. Let’s face these issues together because I care about you my precious daughter. Let’s fix today’s problems together.” What an incredible source of encouragement! All I can say is thank you, Dad.

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      Author
  19. I sure needed this to read. I’ve been awake for the better part of the night. Unable to rest because of thoughts playing in my head. I have daughters and the oldest lost her job she had been with that company for 16 years. I ask for my sisters in Christ to lift her up in prayer she has an interview today. I can the stress in her face and the hurt. Also I have another daughter that has asked if she would like to move into a new role at her school. She has the qualifications to advance but she likes the position she is in right now. I took their hands and prayed for them both. That can can show them what they need. That they are our Father in heavens take your burden, doubt whatever they are feeling and go to him in prayer. We serve a mighty God and I asked him to let their lives shine around other. They are worthy of Gods will. This world is messed up, the news will bring you down and then you lose your job because of downsizing. You can feel like your down in the valley and can’t seem to reach the mountain top. God will carry you allows us to lean on him if we just go and have a talk with Jesus he will see us through. Thank you Gwen for your devotion it really spoke to me. God Bless you and let us all bind together in prayer for other and the things going on in this world. Pray for our leaders, those held in captivity the wounded the hurting the lost and misplace.God is good all the time.
    In Jesus name I pray.
    Anita-

    1. Anita,

      I prayed for both of your precious daughters this morning. Our mamma hearts hurt when our children hurt and only God can bring us the peace we need.

    2. I pray that soon you will have peace and answers arrive quickly.
      I understand how alone these situations can make us feel and fear arrives with a lot of— what if questions. Satan is a liar and a thief. I have to pause and remind myself this when these attacks flow through my mind. It’s through these scary situations that we learn how to lean and trust in God. It’s the going through that is the hardest part. But God! I love those two words and cling to them.
      I pray your daughters will find refuge under the wings of our Father God. I pray that you find the strength to keep on keeping on and know you are the daughter of the King God Almighty.
      For the Joy of the Lord is our strength and HE loves You and your beautiful daughters. God Bless You and your beautiful heart. Your sister in Christ Jesus, Love Gail

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