I Know How The Flowers Felt

The rain to the wind said
“You push and I’ll pelt”
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt
And lay lodged – though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.
(Robert Frost)

This was from the chapter of the book I’m reading “Praying our Goodbyes” By Joyce Rupp. When we are bombarded with troubles, suffering, bereavement, fear etc. we have a God who stays with us in the struggle. God is our refuge, a shelter in the storm, a shade from the heat, the good friend who stays with us.

The reading from my lent book today was based on Psalm 16. “Keep me safe, oh God, for in You I take refuge.” Although this book was written well before the global pandemic some parts have been very applicable to life today.
David experienced great fear as he fled to remote locations to hide from Saul – he hid in caves but still needed to take refuge in God to find true peace.
It struck me that the verse says “take refuge.” It’s a choice. It doesn’t say “In You I’m given refuge”, or “In You I accept refuge”.
It’s by being in God’s presence, acknowledging He is there with me, and choosing to trust Him and believe that He wants to help and is on my side that I take refuge.
In that place of rest in God’s presence, David was able to be real about his fears. He trusted in God’s protection and care; he listened for guidance and received peace. And so he was able to say –
“I will praise the Lord who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD, with Him at my right hand I will not be shaken”.
What do you take refuge in when you are struggling or afraid? While I at times turn to friends, or escape in to a book or go out to look at birds, their help is only temporary. God is the answer for long term relief and refuge.

Lord give grace
to those who are broken by sorrow
to those who are emptied of tears
to those whose hopes have been shattered
to those who are running on empty
to those who cannot make sense of it all
to those who are angry at You
to those who are confused
to those who do not know what to do
to those who have lost loved ones
to those who must walk through the valley
to those who feel they cannot make it
to those who are gripped by fear.

May you learn to live out who God says you are rather than who other people tell you that you are. Christ was welcomed with shouts of “Hosanna”; yet a week later the same people shouted “Crucify Him”. People’s opinions change so quickly, but God’s view of you remains the same. May you rest in the grace He offers, and walk in His mercy each day.


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