The transition from a crib to a “big boy bed” proved difficult for my three-year-old. Night after night, Griffin would come downstairs, afraid to sleep in his new bed. I’d carry him back to his room, reassuring him that he was safe and no one would hurt him. We would pray for protection and thank God for his new bed. My son stayed put for a little while and then the same scenario would play out all over again.
As with all moms, sleep is important to me. I am not happy when woken up in the middle of the night—for any reason. When it happened many times a night, many nights in a row, sleep deprivation took its toll and wore my patience thin. During those long nights, I tried to remember it was only a season of adjustment and would pass.
One night when Griffin called out, I decided it was time for the adjustment period to be over. I was tired of repeatedly getting up. As I headed upstairs—very loudly I might add—my frustration increased. I found my son on his usual stair waiting for me. Right then, my heavenly Father showed me a picture of love I will never forget.
As I gathered Griffin in my arms, ready to give him a firm talking-to, he asked me to sing Jesus Loves Me. I don’t have to tell you that it is very difficult to sing this lullaby when you have that not-so-nice feeling in your heart. While I half-heartedly sang, God used Griffin to remind me that my son knew where to go when he needed a safe refuge.
His nightlight, stuffed animals, and blankie didn’t make him feel safe. He couldn’t hide out in them the same way he could snuggle in my arms. They couldn’t love him like his mom could.
It’s natural for kids to seek protection when they’re afraid, but we often don’t think of mighty warriors needing a place of refuge. However, Scripture tells us that King David sought one. His life had been quite an adventure. From the time Samuel anointed him king of Israel, he moved to the palace to play the harp for King Saul, slew a giant, married a loyal woman, and hit the ground running in order to save his life from Saul.
David eventually ended up hiding in the dark, smelly cave of Adullam with Saul right on his heels. (1 Samuel 22:1) The word adulluam means refuge. In fear for his life, David tucked away in the cave and cried out to the Lord. He wrote the song we know as Psalm 52 to bring encouragement to his weariness and relief to his heaviness.
Through his praise and lamenting, David realized his refuge was not in a cave, but in the Lord. “I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.” (Psalm 52:8b NIV)
Many times, like Griffin and David, we find ourselves in need of refuge. In our world of modern conveniences and quick fixes, it is easy to find comfort in places, people, and things, rather than in God. He is often our last resort rather than our first choice. But our heavenly Father offers us shelter in His faithful love. He never fails to pick us up and sing over us when we are weary and afraid … no matter how many times we call out to Him.
Let’s set our minds and hearts today to develop a daily relationship with God so our natural response to fear and anxiety is to run to Him as our refuge. We can trust in His unfailing love.