Have you ever had a safe haven? A place of acceptance where people believe in you, encourage you and want only the best for you. A place that you have grown to trust in. It is your shelter from all the storms of life. It is your safe place, where you know you are loved and cherished, just because you are you. If you have been blessed to experience such a situation, then you have held the treasure of safety and security. So, what do you do if your safe haven or at least what you perceived to be your safe haven crumbles? What do you do when the precious place you once trusted and held close to your heart is shattered into a trillion pieces? Your heart, your world, your dreams implode around you, and as you turn, the ashes keep floating down. There is no solid ground on this side of heaven to be found. Your safe haven has vanished, and you are left holding fragmented pieces of your life, shaken to the core, and with more questions than answers. Why did it crumble? Did your safe haven crumble because of deception, death, or some other tragedy? Could you have done something to prevent it from crumbling? What do you do if you find out that everything you believed to be true about a situation or a relationship was a lie? How can this be? What did you miss? The earthly safe havens that we put our trust in can crumble in a split second or gradually over time. Regardless of why it crumbled, the real question is, what are we to do now? We know that there is only One Cornerstone – One Rock – One True Safe Haven, and that is Christ Jesus our LORD. So, let us cry out to the LORD in our brokenness, dig into the Word, and let Him rebuild the ruins and lead us to our desired haven.
We must seek wisdom and understanding, so we can learn and grow when our safe haven crumbles. James explains,
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (Jas 1:2-8)
Finding pure joy in the ashes can be hard, but we do want to be mature and complete as children of God and blessed with the Light that can lead us out of the darkness. So, let’s fall in the hands of our merciful God who holds the power to deliver us and light the way.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress…Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains, because they rebelled against God’s commands and despised the plans of the Most High. So he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and there was no one to help. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains…Some went out on the sea in ships; they were merchants on the mighty waters. They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; in their peril their courage melted away. They reeled and staggered like drunkards; they were at their wits’ end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the seawere hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven…He turned rivers into a desert, flowing springs into thirsty ground, and fruitful land into a salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who lived there. He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs; there he brought the hungry to live, and they founded a city where they could settle. They sowed fields and planted vineyards that yielded a fruitful harvest; he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased, and he did not let their herds diminish…Let the one who is wise heed these things and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord. (Ps 107:1-43)
Praise God He loves us with unconditional love. We all have a story and from time-to-time find ourselves at our wit’s end. If we are honest with ourselves, many times, when we experience our most significant brokenness, it is because we have put our ultimate trust in our own strength, or something or someone rather than in God. “Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe” (Prov 28:26). “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (18:24). “The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (18:10). God will lead us to our desired haven when we understand His sovereignty. Amid our most enormous grief, if we are open to the LORD, we can learn our greatest lessons.
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword…Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.He said, “Because hands were lifted up againstthe throne of the Lord,the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation. (Exod 17:8-16)
Is the Banner over our Safe Haven the LORD? Do we stand strong together, united, and trusting in the LORD? Do we fully understand that God alone is our refuge and strength?
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. (Ps 46:1-7)
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart…A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone… “Because heloves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. (Ps 91:1-16)
Praise be to our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. He alone is our real Safe Haven. In our lifetime here on earth, we will experience tragedies. Remember the words of Jesus: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3). If your world crumbles, seek God’s face, fall into His merciful heart, and learn well, my friend, for one day, we will dwell with Him. “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev 21:3-4). “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay” (1 Pet 1:3-4 NLT). Hallelujah!! To God be the glory!! Amen.
** Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version, from Bible Gateway or Logos Software. Used by permission of Biblica, The International Bible Society.