God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. – Psalm 46:1-3 (KJV)
I keep scanning the real estate ads for just the right spot to run to: “Secluded cave, 500 sq. ft., wooded surroundings. Close to home yet far from civilization. Electric, water, high speed Internet. Ideal hiding place to escape all that stress!”
I have yet to find such a listing.
There are days I just want to run. Run away from the stress. Run away from the doubt and worry. Run away from myself and everyone else.
The problem with problems is that they are an inescapable fact of life on this earth. “In this world, you will have trouble,” or so Jesus warned us. But He didn’t stop there: “Take heart! Be happy! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33).
When facing life’s obstacles, we are not supposed to run away from them. The only running we are to do is to God. In Him we find our shelter, our strength, our guidance – whatever equipping we need to face today and the challenges we face.
Paul, when hounded by “a messenger of Satan”, begged the Lord three times to rid him of this “thorn in my flesh”. But Jesus did not remove the thorn. He did not take away the problem. “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV).
When we try to run from our problems and fears, all we do is make things worse. We can take a vacation from them, perhaps. But after a week on the beach, we return home to discover those problems are still there. Perhaps the Lord is trying to tell us something. Maybe, just maybe, He has a purpose for all those nagging troubles that keep plaguing us.
When you run, where are you going? Are you trying to run away from the things that trouble you or cause you pain? Or are you running to our Loving Heavenly Father for help?
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. – Psalm 121 (KJV)