Daily Bread June 06

Spiritual Refuge
Harriet White of Lamoni, IA, USA

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”
….I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the LORD always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. -Psalm 16:1-2, 7-8

Several years ago I decided to start feeding and watching the birds that frequented our yard. It has been an interesting venture as I became familiar with the habits of these delightful, entertaining creatures. They are diverse in variety, appearance, their food of choice, and personality.

Being a person who likes analogies, I found myself reflecting on similarities or parallels in what I saw between “bird” behavior and “human” behavior. There were lessons to be learned as I watched these birds in their daily activities.

One morning, though the feeders were full, there was a noticeable absence of my bird friends. It didn’t take long, as I looked around the yard, to discover a Cooper’s hawk in one of our maple trees. I’ve learned when the hawk is present, the birds instinctively find places of refuge in thick brush, shrubs, and trees until the threat is gone.

Like the birds, we humans seek shelter when threatened. Where do we go when there is risk to peace of mind, risk to safety in the face of overwhelming uncertainties? If we feast upon the Word of God, allowing the Word to intersect with our lives, then we, too, instinctively find a refuge, an inner spiritual sanctuary, to uphold us during life’s trials. Life’s challenges, like the hawk, do not remain forever. For “my” birds, it is a time of demonstrating patience. Waiting is not always easy, but wait we must. However, our waiting can be a time of renewal, allowing scripture to lead us into a life of transformation where growth in wisdom and knowledge continue, secure in God’s promises and blessings.

“But I will sing of your might; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been a fortress for me and a refuge in the day of my distress” (Psalm 59:16).

Prayer Phrase

Wherever I am, God is here.

Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and prayerfully consider the story you have just read. What is the Spirit’s invitation to you in these words? What does it look like to wake up to God’s presence in this moment?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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