I watched his hands as closely as possible. Sweat began to roll off my head (and everywhere else, I’m sure). The butterfly knife in his hand was being flipped in every direction in the middle of our conversation, and his eyes were on me. On the bustling street corner in downtown Montego Bay, Jamaica – he could have slit my throat and run away with no consequence. My 16 year old mind racing, adrenaline pumping, my mouth moving but my brain not connecting to what was coming out. All my focus was on that knife.
Have you ever felt safe in an instant and in complete danger the next? In one moment I was having a nice conversation with a young man, in the next my life was flashing in front of my eyes. Unfortunately, this can be the nature of our spiritual life as well. Listen, as David deals in the rhythms of refuge with eyes on God (I added the underlines) . . .
Psalm 63:1 A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me. 9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; they will go down to the depths of the earth. 10 They will be given over to the sword and become food for jackals. 11 But the king will rejoice in God; all who swear by God will glory in him, while the mouths of liars will be silenced. (Ps. 63:1 NIV)
Here’s the rhythm of staying in God’s refuge . . .
- Seeking God Himself (not direction, not distraction, not his benefits)
- Remembering God’s power & love
- Speaking & singing from that place of refuge (the shadow of your wings)
- THEN remember the danger, and place it securely in light of God’s wonder