When I was a kid, it seemed like there was an episode of every television show I watched where one of the kids ran away.  There was Stephanie on Full House, Ashley on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Mark on Home Improvement, and even Shawn on Boy Meets World.  Man, we could all use a friend like Corey Matthews.

But I never got it.  They would gather a few things, wrap it all in a table cloth and tie it to a stick.  Maybe that’s why I never ran away, I was never able to master the art of tying my belongings to a stick.  Apparently that is a requirement for running away.  And then they would go to a place that was very familiar to them.  Some went to a friend’s home, and others went to some sort of club or tree house.  They wanted to leave home for some outrageous reason, but they also wanted to make sure they were going somewhere that felt safe.

(Insert random Bible segue here)

In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to set up cities of refuge whenever they were settling a new area.  These cities of refuge were supposed to be areas where somebody who had unintentionally killed a person could flee to avoid being immediately killed by an avenger.  It was a place for them to be protected until they could get a fair trial.  It was a place for them to feel safe.

Isn’t that what we all desire?  When we are running away from things that are painful or scary, it seems that all we want is to feel safe.  There is comfort in feeling safe.  There is contentment in feeling safe.  In many cases, there is even joy in feeling safe.

There may be times in our lives that we have no city of refuge to turn to.  There may even be times when the very place we seek safety is the place we are running away from.  It is during those times that we need to remember that God is our refuge.  While He does not promise to protect us from pain and danger, the peace that He provides is beyond anything we can experience in any place or with any person. 

The contentment, comfort, and joy that God can provide is truly incomparable. So the next time you feel like you need to run, the next time you have to get away, run to Him.  He is waiting with open arms and ready to surround you with His amazing love.  Let God be your refuge.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1 NIV)

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