The house is shaking, swaying, swirling me into the sea of fear and doubt again. I thought we were done with this. It had been nearly been a year since the monstrous earthquake rocked my new country of residence and my self-set security.

I run to check on the baby, who had finally given up the bed-time battle but was now wide-awake, shocked and sweaty.

I pray a silent, stressed-out prayer. In my reality, I had run up the stairs. But my weary soul that dictates my steps ran them right to the Refuge I had never utilized as such until it was my last resort at rest. I’ve lived under His unshakeable shelter ever since. What else can I do?

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He’s my Refuge.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof (Psalm 46:1-3).

The quake that tips the Richter scale doesn’t hold a flickering candle to the power my God possesses.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust(Psalm 91:2).

I can weather the storms that will inevitably rage. Not because I’ve crafted a tempest-tested vessel, but because the Christ who humbly let death momentarily defeat him conquered it three days later.

His power walked His once lifeless body out of the tightly shut tomb, but His love for me kept Him shamefully still on the cross as His last breath escaped His colorless lips.

He’s my refuge.

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But He is also my friend.

And isn’t that the best kind of friend to have? A trustworthy treasure, a selfless safe place, a reliable Redeemer.

I can shoot a text to my BFF who may roll her eyes at my latest conundrum as she seeks to untangle the fears and temptations that weave tightly around her own soul. Or I can cling to the hand of my soul’s indweller as He leads me to my only true confidant, my best friend for eternity.

He’s been called a friend of sinners. And, rightfully so, since he’s a friend of mine. The benefits of this relationship so lavishly extended to me are as freeing as they are mind-blowing.

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:16-18).

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He equips me, in His love, to live fearless and free resting in His refuge yet enabled in boldness that draws others in for an introduction. As I invite them into my safe place, I can trust that the Holy Spirit that guides my steps to the Cross time and time again will pull them in with power and grace that comes not from my weak attempts to convey His worth that speaks for itself.

I can’t force people into the Refuge or pressure them into a relationship with the most precious Friend they could ever have. But I can proclaim with unwavering faith forged in His providential power that He is the only One who can save us from death and set our feet on unshakeable ground.

How empowering it is to serve the Savior! How sweet it is to call Him friend!

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