As kids, my brother and I shared a room. He slept on the top bunk, while I slept on the bottom. Going to bed at nights always presented a struggle for me. I can remember that bedroom so clearly. I would lie there pondering the inevitable–concepts like eternity and death. I didn’t really know much about God, but those intrusive thoughts of “forever” terrified me.
One of my biggest fears as a child was the fear of death. To me, death meant staring at the lid of a casket unable to move for all eternity–not a pleasant thought. As my mind flooded with these unwanted thoughts, my heart would begin to race. I couldn’t catch my breath. Numbness engulfed my body. Terror gripped my mind. I would pounce out of bed and run to my mom, screaming with a full-blown panic attack.
Nights like these were common. Oh, how I hated nighttime. I knew I had to win this battle with uninvited thoughts if I wanted any sleep. My mom always represented a place of safety. She was my refuge. She could calm the fears. I don’t think she ever fully understood these episodes, but she was always there.
Today, I am learning how to run to my Father instead. I know that he can quiet my soul with tender “I love you’s.” I have found a new refuge, a sanctuary of security.
- Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
God offers a safe haven for each of us–a place where we can sit and rest in his presence. It’s a secret place. Only you and your Father know about it. When you go there, your Father is already waiting for you. You can pour out your heart to him and tell him all that is on your mind. Tell him your fears, your doubts. You will hear his gentle voice say, “It’s okay, child. There’s no need to fear. I will protect you.”
Prayer: Father, you know my every thought, my every doubt and fear, and yet I try to hide my shortcomings by seeking shelter apart from you. I long to experience your peace. Teach me to run to you, my rock of refuge.