Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take Up Thy Cross"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 91:1,4-5 – He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. (NIV)
This past summer, my three goats, Marshall, Lilly, and Aggie, went on a holiday of sorts. The community greenhouse project willingly accommodated them, as they had large areas of lush grass and other growth to be cleared, and the goats would be the perfect solution for this project. And they were. But amidst this opportunity, a problem evolved, which taught me something very important.
As I went out regularly to check on the goats, I began to notice that they were losing weight — not much, but definitely some — although they were stuffing themselves from morning until night. What is going on? I wondered.
I knew that the people that I had left them with were taking wonderful care of them, yet when I checked them again after they had been at the greenhouse for about six weeks, I was alarmed at how much weight they had dropped, so much so that I cut their holiday short and transported them home.
Upon arriving in our yard, the goats made a beeline for the barn and stayed there for the next several days, coming out only to eat and then immediately returning to their shelter. And then, suddenly, it dawned on me. At the greenhouse, the goats had only a tent for shelter and not a solid structure to feel secure within. Although they were eating well and were diligently cared for, they didn't feel safe. They were unable to take refuge in a place that afforded them rest, comfort, and security amidst the terrors of the night and the onslaught of bugs during the day.
This learning curve reminded me how I am much the same way, apart from my faith in the Lord. Before I knew God, I was always anxious and afraid, worried and distressed about many things which wore me down and tired me out. But once I came to know Him and learned to trust more and more in the truth of His Word and the power of His love, I found a refuge from my worries and stress. It is not that I don't still sometimes struggle with my own "terrors of the night", but when I do, I have trained myself to give them over to God and to leave them there, knowing that I am safe and that He will provide or show me the best way to go.
Today, if you are feeling anxious or worried, or struggling with your own "terrors of the night", remember in Whom you dwell: the Lord God Almighty and the promises and truth of His Word, the living Christ. Give over your struggles to Him, and you, too, shall find refuge and comfort under His wings.
Prayer: Father God, thank You so much that You are our refuge and comfort, our strength and home. Remind us, through the power of Your Spirit, each and every day, to give over to You all of our fears, anxieties, concerns, and worries, that we might dwell and find rest under Your wings. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.
P.S. The goats regained their weight very quickly and will be able to holiday at the greenhouse again this year, as a proper goat house is underway.