“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
My God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” Psalm 18:2
The week at the beach brought much needed rest and relaxation. Standing in the midst of many new ministry opportunities, it was perfect timing to be still and hear from God. My heart was spilling over with gratitude for the gift of the gorgeous beach house. My friends know that I claim to see and hear more clearly sitting by the roaring ocean with sand between my toes and sunscreen on my nose. Of course I experienced Him in the ocean waves, the fluffy clouds, the soaring sea gulls and the glorious sunsets, but I also experienced Him in many surprising ways. So I have a few beach stories to share with you over the next few weeks.
I watched as the boy thrust the shovel deep into the sand. He was one among many young ones pursuing sandcastle dreams, but he worked with a vigor and tenacity that obviously came from a big dream.
My attention turned to the waves, gathering families and especially the little princess with the pink hair bow, running in and out of the waves. After hours of I reading, pondering, and chatting, I couldn’t believe what had taken place. When I looked toward the tenacious boy, all I could see was the top of a chair peeking from his safe little refuge. It was obvious while I turned my attention to other things; he had remained focused and determined to accomplish his goal. With jacket and towel clutched in hand, he slid down into his tight little hiding place. I reached back into my childhood memories and could almost feel what a little tight fort once felt like. My sheltered fort usually consisted of blankets thrown over a little corner table. I brought inside its walls all that made me feel cozy, comfortable and safe. I could only imagine the boy must have felt some of the same feelings.
While everyone else faced the ocean and played along the edge of the water, this young one hid in his own dug out shelter facing the opposite direction. His view was not of the majestic ocean, but of people coming and going and brambles along the sand dunes. I took it all in and returned to wave watching and napping. It was actually the last time I even checked out the progress.
As I awakened the next morning, the little boy hunkered down in his little dug out re-entered my thoughts. The Spirit had my attention and this verse came to mind.
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13
I wonder if you, like me, often find yourself attempting to dig your own safe place. Seeking temporary relief and protection we dig hard and fast to make a way for ourselves. It stems from our flesh nature that fights to be in control, to hold our own hand and to provide everything that we need all by ourselves. We fill our little shifting sand refuge with anything that makes us feel comfortable and safe. We can suddenly find ourselves believing God is too slow and doubting that He will come through.
So on we go with our digging.
And there we sit in our own man-made refuge, with arms folded, wrapped up with the pride of our own accomplishment. “Look what I did. I have need of nothing.”
We call it safety, but soon find it to be unfulfilling.
So quickly we turn our backs to the sovereign power of our God, pretending to be our own source, provider and refuge. Actually, our own god. Cisterns that cannot hold water; cannot provide what we need.
It sounds a little like the church of Laodicea in Revelation 3:17:
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need anything.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
The LORD comes in power today to remind us of our key verse. Oh, that we would declare it as David did. I am not my own refuge, fortress or savior. All my hope and everything that I need are only found in Him. Lord, reveal to us where we are digging our own shelters and seeking to be our own provision.
Come on…lets declare it together! (A great declaration to memorize.)
“The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” Psalm 18:2
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7