Rock of Refuge

Psalm 71: 3  Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. [1]

 

Cass Technical High School Junior Varsity Volleyball Team locking arms before a championship playoff match
Cass Technical High School Junior Varsity Volleyball Team locking arms before a championship playoff match

Part of our self-definition is derived in where we find refuge. Our refuge is our safety net. Our refuge is where we can go to find peace and tranquility in the midst of the storm. When headed for the fight of your life, a major challenge, a contest of strength and will, the place of refuge is central.

If your refuge is a place of confusion, all you will find is anything but peace. If your refuge is the security of friendship and kindred minds you will find assurance, strength and the sweet communion of the company of sisters and brothers.

Communication and Media Arts High School Junior Varsity volleyball Team reviewing strategy before a championship match
Communication and Media Arts High School Junior Varsity volleyball Team reviewing strategy before a championship match

Over the years there have been days and times when confusion and challenge swirled around me like the middle of a storm. I experienced this a few times when I was in politics as a Councilman in the City of Detroit. I also experienced the storm as a student for the ministry at a small church in New Orleans. What I learned was to step back in faith, reach deep for the Spirit of the Lord and to release everything else that was not essential and what I found was the sweet refuge of Jesus Christ. All my life I have built a foundation of faith in the refuge of the Lord. At my present stage of faith which has been carefully built upon the rock of refuge that I have found in Jesus Christ no storm is too strong, no words are too painful, no threat can overwhelm me and no disrespect can derail me.

Jesus Christ is a place of refuge, a place of rest, a place where one can recuperate, renew and regenerate. If you have not made a place for him in your heart, I encourage you to seek him while he still may be found.   The Lord will bless you, strengthen you, keep you and find you. Seek the “Rock of Refuge” today and be blessed by the Holy Spirit.

The concept of Jesus as a refuge and fortress has been put to song in the hymn, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me. Take a look at the words and witness the deep faith of the song writer, Agustus Toplady (1776)

  1. Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee; Let the water and the blood, From Thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.

  2. Not the labor of my hands Can fulfill Thy law’s demands; Could my zeal no respite know, Could my tears forever flow, All for sin could not atone; Thou must save, and Thou alone.

  3. Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to Thy cross I cling; Naked, come to Thee for dress; Helpless, look to Thee for grace; Foul, I to the fountain fly; Wash me, Savior, or I die.

  4. While I draw this fleeting breath, When my eyes shall close in death, When I rise to worlds unknown, And behold Thee on Thy throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee.

Psalm 71: 3  Be to me a rock of refuge, a strong fortress, to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. [2]

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What does it mean for the Lord to be a “Rock of refuge”?
  2. When have you found the Lord to be your refuge and fortress?

 

Prayer:

Lord, the pitfalls are many, the path is slippery, and the way is often scary. You are my rock of refuge and my strong fortress. When I have nowhere else I can turn, I turn to you. When safety cannot be found, in you I have found peace. You are my rock. You are my fortress. You are my shield of safety. You are my “wheel in the middle of the wheel.” Lord, I need your strength. Lord, I need your safety. Lord, I need your security.   Lord, I need your salvation.   Lord, I need your sweet Spirit and saving grace. Through Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

 

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/

“The Test, The Strength, The Endurance, The Way Out” – a new book of original prayers and inspirational photos written and taken by Nicholas Hood III is available online for only $15 at www.nicholashoodiiiministries.org

 

[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ps 71:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[2] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ps 71:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.