A child’s world is most often a world of innocence. A world where faith is easy because we are cared for, provided for, loved, and safe. I know this is not always the case, and this is tragic and should not be, but for me, it was easy to trust as a child.
It was not until I lost a baby after 23 difficult weeks of pregnancy that I stopped trusting, that I stopped feeling safe and provided for. Suddenly I was afraid of everything.
Although I had always known that God does not always say “yes” to prayers about healing, that wonderful, faithful people did not always live out their lives in full, that heartache and tragedy were not unknown by many people I knew, it had never affected me so directly. Now I felt vulnerable and open to any and everything that could go wrong. And I could not stop imagining all the things that could go wrong.
It has taken me a long time to figure out what God means when he says, “Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place – the Most High, who is my refuge – no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.” (Psalm 91:9-10 ESV) God has not promised an absence of evil, but only that it will not be used to destroy us.
When God looks at our lives, He sees the past, present and future; we only see the past and present – how short that must be to Him. But He has not left us alone.
God has provided a place for us to take refuge during the difficulties and trials of mortal life which doesn’t banish the difficulties and trials, but instead gives us a reason to stand strong through them. A refuge is a place to feel safe and to hold on to hope. Just as a child can feel safe and hopeful in their parents arms, even in scary situations, so God offers us the same comfort under the shadow of His wings.
In Old Testament times, the mercy seat lay beneath the shadow of the wings of the cherubim and this was the place where God met with His people. In the New Testament, Jesus became the mercy seat or meeting place between God and man. “So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:17-20 ESV)
This hope that we can hold onto like an anchor is the certain hope of a future. “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22 ESV)
If we can hold on to this hope, if we can trust that He is faithful, if we can have the faith of a little child, then nothing that happens to us can destroy us utterly.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17 ESV)