Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. – Psalm 90:1-2, ESV
Did you have a favorite hiding place as a kid? A place that was only yours, where your imagination could run free, your heart felt protected, and you could hunker down and play until you heard the call for dinner? Perhaps it was a tree house, the bank of a creek in a nearby woods, a favorite tree you could climb, or a basement playroom. For a short while, mine was a little hideaway area in my bedroom. It was a cube cut-out in my wall that had a door on it. I think it was for storage because it also had a panel on the ceiling that led to the attic. To me, though, it was my own secret space. I would crawl up and sit in it for hours, coloring, journaling, and just generally living in my own little world. I felt safe, protected, and secure from whatever chaos was happening in the world or even my own family. It was my refuge.
As adults, we sometimes still have places like this. It could be a reading corner, a favorite spot to walk or run, or a quaint coffee shop that you visit alone whenever you need a break. We still seek refuge from uncertainty, paying bills, loneliness, or general life frustrations. It would seem that our soul is meant to find shelter in something, and so we keep looking for what it is that makes us feel safe.
The things we find this side of Heaven are nice, and often healthy and necessary, but they are always temporary. The relief we feel from them lasts only for a short while before we are thrust back into the realities of life. They cannot actually make us safe and secure. What we ultimately need is something eternal, something that will last, something we were made for.
In Psalm 90, Moses says that the LORD himself has been the dwelling place of the Israelites – their refuge. The Israelites were wandering in the desert when this was written, after having been rescued from slavery in Egypt. They had no permanent home, no permanent dwelling place, no permanent refuge. There were no scenic bike paths, trees to climb, or nail salons because, well, they were in a desert. Their hearts, like ours, needed refuge. Moses declares here that nothing short of the Lord provides that. The reason this is significant is that God is from beginning to end. Everything finds its origin in Him and everything will find its conclusion in Him. There is no other fortress that can stand the test of time like this, no other shelter that remains as steadfast or available, and no other refuge that can heal our hearts, give us hope, or make us secure. He alone is the One.
When we are in times of uncertainty and transition, may we know that our hearts and souls can find refuge in the Rock of Ages. When we are in places where we feel settled and secure, may we remember that even those times are temporary, but Jesus is eternal. This week, let’s remember that no matter where our life takes us, the Lord Himself is our dwelling place.
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Lettering design by Sarah Boulware of @letterseed.