Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

My Rock – My Refuge

Psalm 94:22

But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.

profileWere you the biggest kid in school? Were you the most popular? Were you stunning in High School – and socially exceptional? If not – you fall into the mix with the rest of us. I wasn’t the biggest – I wasn’t the fastest – I wasn’t the cutest – I wasn’t the most popular or the most likely to… anything. I was just one of the crowd growing up. Most of us fall into this category.

In High School I was often on the outside looking in – never really in the in crowd. I played a little basketball in High School and a little football – playing for Annapolis High School. I was in the band at AHS – spending time with the concert band – the marching band – the orchestra – and the jazz band. I played trumpet well enough to rise to 1st Trumpet but there were often others ahead of me. I was active in my church and church youth group – but my position there was that of the pastor’s kid (PK) more so than anything else as I remember it.

I had some friends and acquaintances that were some of the things I described in the first paragraph. I especially appreciated my friends that were the biggest kids in school. Being friends with them usually meant I could walk the halls without too much worry because if anyone came after me they might have to answer to my friends. Being a member of the football team and the basketball team – even as the statistician later in my school days – brought me a measure of safety too. The biggest students in school – black or white – were somehow associated with me and I’m convinced that saved me from a few beatings/muggings in High School.

As I grew – even during my High School days – I began to learn what it meant to rely on God more than my friends and acquaintances. They wouldn’t always be around and when I went off to college – there were a whole new set of bullies and situations to face and my High School protectors were not around. It was my relationship with Jesus that carried me through those years.

As I have lived 59 plus years now – I know that the devil is out there – looking to do me harm. 1 Peter 5:8 – Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

I have grown to realize that the devil can use all sorts of people to do me harm. Even at times – my most faithful supporters and friends. Matthew 16:23 – Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

I’ve learned that my battle is not against flesh and blood but is really spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12 – For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

I have learned to rely on Jesus. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Psalm 94:20–23 – 20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you— a throne that brings on misery by its decrees? 21 The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. 22 But the Lord has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge. 23 He will repay them for their sins and destroy them for their wickedness; the Lord our God will destroy them.

Where do you place your trust? To whom do you turn in times of need? In whom do you find peace and protection?  Who is your Rock and Refuge?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

April 11, 2014 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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