This coming Sunday I will be preaching at the Burnt Hickory Church of Christ in Marietta, GA on the topic of “Grieving with God.” They have graciously invited me to come and share my story of losing a child along with the lessons I learned on that journey of grief, pain, and suffering.
As I was writing the sermon I’ll preach, I received a call from a man who had been referred to me by a person we both know. This man told me that he and his wife lost a child a year ago and are still struggling with how to process it all in a positive and productive way, and he wanted to know if they could talk to me and my wife about our experience of loss.
This man told me that he and his wife just want to talk to somebody who can understand exactly what they are going through.
Because everyone needs a refuge – a safe place where you can find peace in the midst of a storm or an empathetic person in whom you can find solace, comfort, encouragement, and hope.
In the Bible, David had many occasions where he longed for a refuge. On one of those occasions he wrote down a prayer through which he expressed his gratitude for God as refuge. That prayer has been named “Psalm 142” and it goes like this:
I cry aloud to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.
I pour out before him my complaint; before him I tell my trouble.
When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watches over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me.
Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
I cry to you, Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.
Today if you find yourself in need of a refuge, do what David did and choose God as your refuge. If you will, God will be found and God will give you the strength you seek.