Day 17, Building forts!
“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.”
Psalm 27:5 ESV
Growing up my grandma had a farm. We loved going to the farm, there were cows, chickens, all kinds of fresh vegetables and our own pine forest. We could go in long hikes and even had a waterfall where we could play.
One of my favorite activities was building forts in the forest. It was our place, our rules! One day, after they had cut lots of trees we decided to build a fort next to the farm house. It was the biggest one we had ever built. It fit about 6 people, we loved playing there, we could build fires near by, eat fruit and when it was time to eat we had no mountains to climb, it was perfect, it was convenient, it was ours.
After a huge bonfire, my uncle decided to come into the fort and tell us scary stories. After a few minutes my cousin ran away scared for his life. That night after we went to sleep the windows in our room began to shake, just like the scary story. My cousin began to scream, and then his dad began to laugh, the damage had been done my cousin couldn’t sleep anymore. The one place where he felt safe, had become a place of anxiety, fear and pain.
Many times our places of safety become places of nightmare. Situations come into our life that trigger memories of the past that makes us fearful for what may come. Pain is an excellent teacher, and when we begin to see the signs that pain is about to show up we will do anything to avoid it. For my cousin it meant staying up all night, to make sure everything was going to be ok.
David, knew and understood what it meant to have a safe place to live. He spent many nights running away from evil, avoiding destruction of the ones he loved. When he writes the words in psalm 27, I can see him telling God, I will not judge your promises based on his past experiences. David had learnt that the best refuge to have in time of trouble was to be in the presence of a God.
David understood that the presence of God worked the same way anywhere, whether castles, philistine land and caves in Israel. That Gods’ shelter is not bound by human logic, but is bound by our surrender to Him. Whatever you are carrying around today is the exact thing God wants to protect you from, run to his fort. In God's fort, there aren’t any scary stories. In God's fort you will see the future, one without pain and suffering, one without burdens to carry.
Going up to the farm as often as we did became a place of safety for me. As I think back, it wasn’t safe because we could go hiking, or to the waterfall or build forts. It was safe because we could always hear my parents voice. We were never far, we knew that they were to defend, counsel and even wipe tears away from whatever problem we may have gotten ourselves into. Today God invites you to His place and just like in our farm, He is never far away to defend, counsel or wipe your tears away. Call in His name and move into his fort, He has been waiting for you.
Today, God we pray for a place of safety in this crazy world. Counsel us to live better, hide us from the enemy attack, defend us from the attempts on our life and wipe away the tears that come as a result of living in a sinful world. We want to live with you God. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen