What is Refuge, Anyway?
Rest and refuge. Two things I continually talk about. Two things that I try to model my life after, but what even is refuge, anyway? I talk about rest often, and I put language and parameters around it, but I rarely go into the meaning of refuge, as a posture/stance/way of existing. Before I dive into the way I operate in refuge, let’s just put some simple, good ol’ Merriam-Webster language on it.
1. shelter or protection from danger or distress
2. a place that provides shelter or protection
3. something to which one has recourse in difficulty
Sometimes I think it’s easier to explore an idea or concept when we have a concrete and simple definition to build on. I am a firm believer in a clear/simple/strong foundation for anything we do… but that’s a topic for another day! If we think about refuge as a place or help, I think it gives us space to ponder it as a posture we can carry with us. Just as operating out of a posture of rest is important I think extending that posture to refuge is important too.
If we stop at just operating out of rest, we sometimes forget to take the help we may need to stay in that posture when times of trouble or weariness come. This is why I believe when we take a moment in our day to focus and center ourselves around rest, we must also engage in taking refuge. For me that refuge is in Christ, it’s in knowing that I am not alone, and that I don’t have to carry every little thing that comes my way. For you, it may be in knowing that you are one part of a massive organism that is continually evolving, or even just looking to the stars and meditating on the fact that there is something greater than your circumstance out there.
Perspective is everything. And when I focus on the Creator of the Universe as my refuge, and understand that He is with me in everything I do, I tend to walk through my days with less stress and anxiety, and more strength and ease. Refuge is an important part of my story and journey. It is directly correlated with my ability to overcome and push-through any given circumstance. And, it was not natural, nor easy to put into daily practice. Shoot, I am still learning how. But one this is for sure, I see a definite difference when I don’t operate with a posture of refuge (taking the tools I need with me for help and safety along the journey) than when I do.
These are things I’d like to dive deeper into. But for now, I just want to leave you with one thought…
Where is your safe space? Where do you find help? Where do you find peace? Wherever that is, whomever it’s in, however it happens, harness it. Carry it with you. And when the unimaginable or unexpected comes up, you will not grow weary, because you will have with you what you need to overcome.