Mark Affleck

Running Away Was A Devastatingly Bad Idea

December 11, 2018
Spiritual Growth

December is my time of reflection on the past and repositioning for the future. A time when I confront reality head on and resolve to think different; act different; be different.

This year my thoughts quickly turned to the notion of refuge—where I went when the storms of life crashed my pad. And I thanked God for how he gave me the strength to seek him out with a healthy sense of reality that I was not in charge of anything except trusting him.
That positive outcome is decidedly different from early in my faith walk when I learned the painful lesson that running away from the storm was a very bad choice. Back then I would look for an escape route to the nearest “warm and safe” bunker and hunker down to wait out the storm. That bunker was mansions and sports cars. Bad idea.
To say I did not find refuge in that approach would be silly and wildly understated. But I never stopped having my quiet time with God during this period of my life. And though it seems improbable today, I can clearly see that God was teaching me while I rode out those storms in my materialistic mania.
He was teaching me to turn toward him and walk away from my own fallible perspective. And he was reminding me that what I saw as an embarrassing showcase of my spiritual shallowness he saw as an opportunity for spiritual growth.
The message is clear: God wants us to trust him for refuge and then step out into the sunlight stronger than we were before and eager to tell everyone within earshot how “God saved me again.”
I ask God to help me remember, always remember, that HE is my one and only refuge. That anything else will be ineffective. That the allure of other escape routes is a LIE.
Where will YOU go when the storms of the new year hit your front porch?
“God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1

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