#1: “…HOW BLESSED ARE ALL WHO TAKE REFUGE IN HIM!” PSALM 2:12B NASB
PAGES FROM THE PAST: February 1999
Satisfaction and rest. The world searches frantically for both. I search for both.
If only I had…
If only I were…
If only I could…
Lasting satisfaction is not filled by people or places or things.
And rest. Where do I find that? A perfect vacation? A beach house? A lighter schedule? Less work to do?
No. Rest is found in only one place. Deep-down, daily soul rest is found only in the Shelter of the Almighty.
I know the satisfaction and the rest to be found in the Shelter. I’ve been there. It is a wonderful place to be. The problem is, I tend to just go for a visit. I pop in when the hassles of life get to me, when I feel restless and dissatisfied, when things don’t go my way.
Rest is for those who live in the Shelter of the Most High. There is a big difference between living there and taking a quick visit when the need arises. This Shelter is not a vacation home. It is a place to move into permanently - a place to get comfortable in, to hang some picture memories, to snuggle down deep.
I have known the Shelter as a hospital room. When I am hurting or grieving it is the first place I want to run to. I have known the heart-healing of that place.
I have known the Shelter as a refuge. When I am worn out and weary I seek a respite there. In that Shelter I have been refreshed and renewed.
I have known the Shelter as a library of sorts. I have gone there seeking solutions, answers for questions too big for me. I have come away with a heart full of His wisdom.
I have known His Shelter as a place of pure joy. I have worshiped there alone and have celebrated in His presence with the family of believers. I have touched His throne and been transformed again and again and again.
And yet with all these wonderful visits, I have yet to consistently dwell there. I move in and out. I don’t know why. I just sort of drift out until another crisis or an especially beautiful quiet time reminds me that this is where I want to be. I don’t want to be so foolishly fickle. I love it there in the Shelter.
I am coming to realize that the act of dwelling there, really living in the Shelter of the Most High, is a daily decision. No, it’s more like an hourly decision, a moment by moment awareness of the Father.
I can choose to live there when things are good and when they are not. I can live there when the kids are squabbling, when I am a taxi for the teenagers, at the drizzling soccer field, and at the crowded grocery store.
I can live there from the moment I wake up to the time I go to sleep and every moment in between. The Bible tells me that He will keep on giving to me even in my sleep!
But the decision to stay there is mine. The Father will not force me. I must decide if I want to seek Him with all my heart. I must put aside, at times, thoughts and words and actions that do not belong in the Shelter. Just like I make my kids leave their muddy shoes outside in the garage, so must I leave my filth at the altar before I can enter into His presence. He is not expecting perfection-He knows me too well for that. But when He whispers in my ear I must listen and obey lest I push away His Spirit and push myself out of the Shelter.
From my heart,
Elimelech: My God is King
Naomi: My pleasantness
What’s In a Name?
The most popular names given to babies in 2008 include: Matthew, Ethan, Olivia, Emma, and Alexander.1 One hundred years earlier, in 1908, the top list included names like: Henry, Albert, Harold, Mildred, and Gladys. Only two names made the top ten in both years: William and Elizabeth.
In the United States, names are linked to the era in which a child is born. But in the ancient Middle East, names invariably signified the circumstances under which the child was born. Thus, Rachel, dying in childbirth, named her youngest son Ben-Oni (“my painful son”)2 which her husband quickly changed to Benjamin (“son of the right hand”). Sometimes children were named as a result of his or her parent’s hope for their future. At other times, God Himself stepped in and announced a name before the parents could come up with one of their own (See Isaac’s story in Genesis 17 and John’s story in Luke 1).
Thus, in Scripture, the meaning of someone’s name often sheds light on the significance of that person’s life. Keep that in mind as you read through the book of Ruth.