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Devotional: May 5, 2021

God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked.

Psalm 9: 9-10 The Message

The imagery and language Rev. Eugene Petersen chose for these verses helped me to see them in a new light. More traditional translations, like the NRSV, use terms like “stronghold for the oppressed”, which has always made me think of medieval stone castles, or wooden forts on the American frontier. In contrast, Petersen’s “The Message” translation uses a term more of us can relate to: a safe-house. Many communities have safe-houses and shelters for the homeless, and the abused. In fact, the concept of a safe-house resonates with so many people that J. K. Rowling used a “safe-house” as a primary setting in one of her Harry Potter novels.

Many in our community know of, and support Grace House, which is part of Lighthouse Christian Ministries, a ministry dedicated to reaching people’s physical and spiritual needs. According to their website,

“Grace House is a Christ-centered, faith-based transitional home for women and children. Grace House offers up to 40 women and children affordable program fees, discipleship and a chance to heal and grow into the women and mothers God created them to be. This home is built by faith, grace and community support.”

Our hearts are saddened by the sin which makes places like Grace House necessary: domestic violence. At the same time, we are so thankful for the existence of safe-houses like Grace House, where precious women and children seek refuge after different types of domestic violence. Our community is blessed to with such ministries, for there is a need for them. If anyone you know of is suffering from domestic abuse, by all means contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-SAFE (7233), or go to “thehotline.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence so they can live their lives free of abuse. thehotline.org

” and read the instructions.

Sometimes in our own lives, we may feel the need for our own place of refuge. Our greatest desire may be for a “safe-house” from the world. While we may not experience the same tragic circumstances occuring in others’ lives, we may still have our own experiences where we need to find our own sanctuary in the Lord. He will never turn us away, leave us wandering, or wondering if He is there for us. The simple prayer, “Lord, I need You”, is the only thing that needs to be said. He will hear your prayers, and you will never be left outside of His comforting presence.

The Lord is our safe-house and shelter. We can retreat to Him at any moment, and He encourages us to do so. I love the way Petersen translates verse 10, as it forms a perfect conclusion to this devotional: “The moment you arrive, you relax; [and] you’re never sorry you knocked.” Amen!

Prayer

Loving Lord,

Help me to remember to seek You, and to worship and praise You when life seems to come upon me, threatening to drown me like an ocean wave. When the heavy wind of the world feels like it is pushing me into a place of helplessness, may I remember that You are always there. You are ready to take over and comfort and heal me, providing me with a place to settle into all the joy and peace You desire for me.

With a humble heart, I pray these words in the name of Your son, the Prince of Peace, Amen


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