Everyone who is a follower of Jesus has something they take refuge in, or where they run in times of danger, or where they know they will feel safe during times of peace when they think of adverse possibilities. Though we are not to worry about the future, all of us still do.
Though we have put our faith in Jesus, and though He is our only refuge, yet, on the practical level taking refuge can take different forms. I know of many ‘refuges’ that people around me take, and I hear many persons called ‘refuges’ in the writings of the Church and in the prayers.
Though they seem to be making two incompatible statements, ‘My only refuge is the Lord,’ and then follow it up with (as I have noticed in some services) ‘My only refuge is [fill in the blank]’—I can relate that to my own ‘double confession,’ and it doesn’t bother me.
I don’t understand them, they may not understand me, but I understand myself.
I say with the psalmist, ‘my refuge is only with the Lord’ a hundred different ways. On a practical level, that refuge is expressed and entered into by ‘My refuge is always saying Yes to God.’ That seems to be not only the most reasonable thing to do, but certainly the safest.
That is Romanós at his simplest.
That’s where I run whenever I fall back into being a frightened child in need of the Father.
Easy as 1-2-3!
If I am tempted to be afraid of some event in the future, I become quiet and talk to the Lord and to my heart, ‘Let it be done to me according to Your Word. Though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for You are with me. There is no loss with Jesus. Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also. Take what He gives and praise Him still, through good or ill. Just as I am without one plea. Your heavenly Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Don’t live by man proposes, God disposes, but by God disposes, man reposes. Just say Yes to the Eternal on earth, though it can mean No even to earthly life. Undo your will for Heaven, and Heaven will undo His will for you.’
What better refuge can be found? I take refuge in Yes, so that I can enter into the only true refuge, Christ who ‘was alive and became dead and who now lives forever,’ walking directly in front of me, shielding me from more dangers and harms than I could ever imagine. ‘Every hair of your head has been counted. You are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.’
I cry out for myself, for my family and my beloved friends, ‘Lord, save us!’ and my ‘let it be done unto me as You have decreed’ has cleared my path, kept my heart awake even when I sleep, and let Him pour me out as a drink offering when He wishes.
‘All that I long for is known to You, my sighing is no secret from You.’ And He who alone loves mankind even before we existed and who died for us, He carries me in His will so that I have nothing to fear in letting my will be His. I run for refuge in answering Yes to Him who always answers us with Yes even before we knew to ask.
Yes, I found the hidden Refuge.
And He is faithful.