Friday, November 6, 2015

Finding Shelter - God as My Refuge

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'"
- Psalm 91:1-2

It's happened two out of the last three years. Our fall getaway - a special tradition established at the very beginning of our relationship, designed to be a time to relax physically and reconnect emotionally - has been marred by pain.

Today, as we get ready to head to the little country cabin hideaway we picked out for this year's trip, I wonder ... will it happen again?

I'm trying to stay positive. The last few times, we had lots of extraneous events and stress leading up to the weekend, something I used as a reasonable explanation for my outrageous headaches, facial pain, and malaise. This year, we built in a buffer. My deadlines and parenting stress ended yesterday, and we're not leaving for a few hours. Yay! Relaxation mode is beginning to kick in.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that I've been in a roller coaster of RA flares for the past couple of months. Migraines. Neck pain. Sore hands and feet. A swollen knee. And of course, the never ending battle of fatigue.

Today, I was lucky. My headache dissipated on its own.

When I wake up tomorrow in that little cabin, will I cheerfully greet the day with a smile and be able to enjoy going out on the covered porch to take in all the beauty of the fall leaves and mist rising up from the lake? Or will I be desperately pressing my fingers into my temples and the back of my neck, as I lay in the dark, covers over my head, praying for relief to come before my head explodes into full-blown migraine mode?

I'm hoping for the first scenario, but prepared for the second. Armed with healthy foods, a small stock of pain meds, and a positive attitude, I know one thing for sure: something good will come out of this!

Last year, I spent most of my time in the cabin. But the time I spent out in my kayak ... those few, precious moments of soaking in God's creation and enjoying time with my "bestie" ... were the best moments of the year. It was then I realized that with chronic illness, there is no permanent reprieve. There is no set schedule. There is no assurance of things to come.

What there is assurance of, however, is that God is there in the midst of it all. What is a "shelter" but something to shield us from the storms of life? What is a "refuge" but a place to go when trouble is near? What is the value of "rest" if not for our tired, weary bodies and souls?

Whether I'm working through my daily life challenges or on "vacation," I have a choice: I can struggle, or I can rest. I can fight, or I can find refuge.

Instead of asking myself "Will this year be different?" I am choosing to ask "What will I do differently this year?"

Today, I am choosing serenity: to change the things I can and accept the things I cannot. I cannot predict what will be. But I can choose with Whom I will walk on the journey. And that One is my rest, my refuge, no matter what the days ahead hold.

Are you taking shelter in the shadow of the Most High God? Are you allowing Him to give you rest and refuge, even in the midst of pain? Remember, He will never leave you. Just take hold of His hand.

Finding Shelter - God as My Refuge originally appeared on Spring Sight blog, by Linda W. Perkins. Click here for more posts. Get even more encouragement by following me on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter

Many of Spring Sight's posts can also be found each week on Crystal Storms' #IntentionalTuesday,  Kelly Balarie's #RaRaLinkUp,, Holly Barrett's Testimony Tuesday, Arabah Joy's Grace & Truth and Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday.

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  1. Praying your trip is enjoyable, restful, and replenishing!! This chronic stuff can wear you down and it hits especially hard when you're doing something that is supposed to be relaxing, but your body isn't cooperating! Thanking the Lord He knows and will help you!!

    1. Thanks so much, Bethany! I originally wrote this post awhile back, but I have dealt with the same challenges recently on my vacation. Yes, dealing with my broken body can be frustrating indeed! But somehow, when I get past the pain, I appreciate the good moments even more. May you be blessed today!