A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.
Daily Prompt: Oasis
When I read today’s daily prompt, my heart skipped a beat. Hallelujah! I get to share my secret place with you. I only pray I have the words to convey to you how precious, how lovely, how desperately needed this place is to me.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the circumstances of life? You know what I’m talking about, those times when it seems as though everyone you care for has turned their backs on you… the times when the things you hoped for don’t come… the times when the things you prayed would never happen, do happen… the times when your bills are larger than your bank account… I could go on, but you get the picture. Let’s face it, sometimes life can be devastating.
How many of you who are older remember the old Calgon commercials from the 1970’s? Remember how the poor woman who’d had a rough and miserable day would finally “lose herself in luxury” as she bathed in a big beautiful bathtub filled with bubbles? Have you ever felt envious of her and longed to find your own oasis, away from the pain and stress of life?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like the woman in that commercial or many times, even worse. And if I’m to be perfectly honest with you, on a few occasions, I’ve even groaned, “Calgon, take me away!” Of course, since I’m being honest with you, I never got swept away to some far-off oasis and found myself in that big beautiful bathtub filled with bubbles.
I was still there, stuck in the midst of my turmoil and trouble, feeling overcome and overwrought, so based on my own personal experience, my advice to you is not to even bother uttering those words. It’s a waste of time, and it brings no relief.
So, what do I do when life throws its curve balls at me? Where do I go to find relief from the pain and pressure that comes my way? I go to the secret place of the Most High.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”
Does it make my circumstances change? Sometimes, but more often than not, my circumstances remain the same. What changes is my ability to deal with those circumstances.
You see, when I am in my heavenly Father‘s presence, pouring out all of my pain and all of my anger, my disappointments and my failures, He comforts me, giving me beauty for ashes, and strength for fear. He tells me to cast all of my cares on Him, because He cares for me. Even though I may be in the midst of a whole world of people who have hurt me and betrayed me, many of whom have forsaken me, He holds me close and softly whispers to me, “I will NEVER leave you or forsake you.”
He instructs me to come boldly before His throne of grace, so that I can obtain mercy and grace to help me in my time of need. It is He who has told me, “When your father and mother forsake you, I will lift you up.” His love for me is unconditional, and just listen to this, I don’t just visit that secret place. He has allowed me to dwell there! When you dwell somewhere, you abide there; you inhabit that place; you hang out there!
So you see, my friend? I don’t just visit my secret place on those occasions when I’m distraught. I live in that secret place, under the shadow of His wings, and He covers me with His feathers. When I am overcome by the pain that often surrounds me, it is because I have left that secret place, for whatever reason, but guess what? I’ve learned over the years how to run right back to that secret place when I begin to come undone, and I dive right into my Father’s arms.
Before I close, I want to share one more thing with you about the secret place where I abide. It’s only a secret to those who don’t seek it. Do you understand what I’m telling you? Read these words from my Father:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me in earnest, you will find Me when you seek Me. (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NLT)
My prayer for each one who reads this post is that you will look for my Father, who dwells in the secret place, earnestly, because if you do, then you too will be able to dwell in the secret place of the Most High.
Cheryl A. Showers
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