There are times when I feel overwhelmed by life. It is in those moments that I feel most tempted to flee reality. I often do it by compulsively watching Netflix, my preferred refuge from life. For you, it might be porn, or work, or drugs, or medications… whatever it is that helps you avoid overwhelming situations and feelings rather than having to face them.
Why do I turn to Netflix instead of God in such moments? It’s because I know that God will command me to face the issue boldly, trusting in His power to do so — and to be totally honest, there are times I want to flee reality, not face it.
I’m like the disciples in Gethsemane described in Luke 22:45). Jesus, facing death and suffering, invited them to join Him in prayer. But they chose to sleep, “exhausted from sorrow.” Jesus, who chose His Father as Refuge in His life, arose from his time of agonizing prayer (see Hebrews 5:7-10) able to boldly face the coming pain. The disciples, who chose sleep as a refuge from life, became frightened and fled when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus. They hadn’t spent time in prayer with God the Father so they hadn’t received the same strength and guidance as Jesus had.
Seeking a substitute refuge ends up helping no one. Seeking God can change everything. How I want to learn to stop seeking other refuges from life and to seek the true Refuge instead!
Jesus, when faced with imminent suffering and pain, you turned to your Father, entrusting yourself fully to Him and accepting the hardships He was asking you to endure. I want to learn to react to life’s challenges as you did. Come change me by your Spirit so that I choose to boldly face hard times in your Father’s strength rather than vainly seek to flee them and you. Amen.
Throughout This Day: When you find yourself tempted to flee from God and life rather than face life with him, pray through Psalm 9, inviting God to give you the courage to face the day in the Holy Spirit’s strength.
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