The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, April 19, 2023, was written by Cathy Fooshee of Kansas.
5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord. 7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 8 They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. 9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
Psalms 36:5-9 NRSV
My daughter works at an alternative school for students with needs that cannot be met in a traditional public-school setting. Since my retirement, I have occasionally worked as a substitute teacher at her school. In each room there is a designated “safe place” where students can go for a break when they are feeling overwhelmed or fearful about a situation. The safe place is located in a quiet part of the room, and the creative use of materials and furniture enhances the illusion of isolation by providing a barrier between the occupants of the space and other students in the room.
We all need a safe place sometimes. I believe that Christians have access to this safe place through Christ; “in Christ we have bold and confident access to God through faith in him” (Ephesians 3:12 CEB). Today’s scripture reading reassures me when I am scared or overwhelmed. I know that in the quietness of my heart, I can take refuge under God’s wings where I find comfort, peace, and joy. The Bible tells us many times that God desires to be “our refuge and strength.” In the safe place God provides, we can find courage and hope.
Cathy’s reflection underscores the importance for each of us to have a safe place. A place where we can be completely vulnerable, a place where we can recover from the buffeting torrents of life, and a place where we can quiet our minds to commune with God. Where is your safe place and when was the last time you were there? May we resolve to intentionally spend significant time in our safe places, allowing God to equip, encourage, and edify us.
Dear God, thank you for your presence and for your desire to protect us. Help us trust that you will never fail or forsake us. Amen.