A Safe Place Whenever Chaos Reigns

One thing I’ve learned over many years of walking with Jesus through my life, is that God has provided many places of safety for those times when life throws us a curve ball.
These are places where we can take refuge (Psalm 31:1). Such places are described throughout the Bible, and especially in the Psalms. Here are a few examples:

  • a fortress – Psalm 31:2; Psalm 91:2; Psalm 94:2; Zechariah 9:12
  • a strong tower – Psalm 61:2; Proverbs 18:10
  • stronghold – Psalm 9:9; Psalm 37:39; Joel 3:16
  • a hiding place – Psalm 32:7; Isaiah 4:6
  • a rock – Psalm 31:2
  • under his wings – Psalm 91:4; Psalm 61:4, 7
  • in his shadow – Psalm 91:1; Psalm 57:1
  • a refuge – 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalm 91:2

I wrote about having a safe place back in 2001 and posted on another website I host. I realise it’s as relevant to me today as it was back then:

Recently I’ve been reminded about the validity of having a safe place where one may retreat to take a breather from the stresses and strains of life. I was reminded of the safe place concept through my reading in a book about EMDR where a lady was taught to create a safe place inside where she could go to calm herself when intense feelings came up.

I was reminded that I’d come across this idea before. It is used in many kinds of therapy and has proved effective in providing respite from intense emotional pain. I’ve also seen the concept used in psychodramas.

The director of the psychodrama will often have the person who is dealing with intense trauma create a safe place somewhere in the room to which them may retreat during the weekend if their distress gets to be too much.

Recently during healing prayer ministry with one person I felt as though God reminded me about safe places in order to share it with them. This client had had two profound experiences with Jesus. The first occurred while this person was looking at the painful memory scene and feeling excluded, out of the picture. Jesus came picked the person up and held them in his arms – a sense of deep comfort and calm were immediate. The second again occurred while the person was looking at a painful memory scene and feeling the intensity of being unloved. Jesus appeared to the person on the cross. He showed his feet, his hands and his side and then told the person that he loved them – the effect again was immediate calm, and a strong sense of being loved. I had a sense that these two experiences were more than just for healing, God was also wanting to give the person a safe place to which to retreat any time they needed. Other places still had pain and weren’t yet safe. These two places are safe because Jesus is there and He has vaporised the lies which had held the person in deep pain. Jesus brought His peace – a lasting peace.
A safe place may be a secret place that is just between the person and God. It is symbolic rather than a real location, though for some there may be a real location. Folk I know have reported the following safe/secret places where they know God is and when they go He is always there for them: a beautiful garden, a castle, a cottage, a cave, a hollow tree, etc. The particular place is frequently meaningful to the person in some way and maybe invoking happy memories or beauty.

I have a safe place. God took me to it several years ago. It was deep in my imagination. I knew it had to be a God-thing as up till that time I had no imagination and found it hard to see pictures inside me. This place is very precious to me so excuse me if I don’t explicitly identify it here. Every time I go there I find God – sometimes it’s Jesus, sometimes Father, sometimes Holy Spirit, sometimes all three. In this place I experience no pain. It just disappears as I arrive, sometimes I leave the pain at the door, sometimes God washes me clean or picks the pain off me as if it were bits of straw or prickles poking into me. Here in this place He talks with me and I with Him – often there are no words but we talk nonetheless.

As a child I had a safe place. It was my bed which most nights I would turn into a boat (sort of like a tug-boat) by scrunching up the sheets and blankets all around me so that my boat had sides to keep me safe from the stormy and unsafe ocean of my life. In my imagination I would sail off to another place where it felt calm and safe. I have no idea how long I did this but I think it was over a significant period of time.

Last year (2000) God showed me that my present safe place is actually inside, in my spirit – that part of me where Satan cannot dwell because it’s where God Himself dwells. I can go and be there any time. It has been and is really helpful as I’ve been learning to listen more to God and pay attention to His perspective on what’s happening around and in me.

There’s a great little song that sums up something of the sentiment of the safe/secret place. In that place there is safety, rest and healing, and yet, there’s so much more. Our longings for God are stirred, our perspective is changed:

In the secret, in the quiet place, In the stillness You are there.
In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait.
Only you are there, only for You, ‘Cause I want to know you more.
I want to know You,
I want to hear Your voice.
I want to know You more,
I want to touch you,
I want to see your face,
I want to know You more.
I am reaching for the highest goal, that I might receive the prize.
Pressing onward, pushing every hindrance aside, out of my way
‘Cause I want to know you more.

Finally, I’m reminded of a saying I heard or read some years ago:

“Though I may tremble on the rock, the rock never trembles under me.”

Whatever our safe place, Jesus is there. The fantastic thing is that since Jesus is in us, in our spirit, our place of safety is there with him.

Copyright 2001-2016  Fran Woods

Be still, be quiet…

We are living in a very chaotic world. Our senses are continuously assaulted by noise… whether the noise of traffic, machinery, radio, TV, or via our ear buds as we listen to the latest and greatest music. Our senses are also assaulted as we hear of natural disasters near and far, or by news of horrific terror attacks, or by hearing of the abuse of the many vulnerable in our communities. It is so very distressing. Oftentimes numbness descends as our only way of coping, and in some way to block out or minimise the senseless pain and suffering.

It is difficult to deal with.
It is tempting to think there is no hope.

However, there is…

Psalm 46:10 has a great word for us in this age in which we live even though written so long ago:

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Be still… know that God is still God. Nothing that happens today will change that. Listen for him.
Take heart!

A Christmas thought

Jesus said of himself as he talked with Father God:

You have given him authority over everyone in all the earth. (John 17:2 NLT).

I find this a comfort and encouragement as I ponder world events. It has been very eventual these past couple of years. Terrorist attacks can occur at any time and in any place and be perpetrated by just a single individual or by a group. For many people fear and anxiety have become their daily fare as they watch the medias reporting of tragic events.

However, no matter what is happening out there, Jesus still has that authority over everyone, and the evil one cannot succeed in his plans or in any way thwart God’s plan.

Take heart, my friends. Read more of what Jesus prayed in John 17. There is much to encourage those who do know Jesus, and who live their lives consciously under his authority. For any who don’t as yet know him, the door is wide open for you to find your true home in his heart.

Finally, I have found John 14-17 to be just great. Jesus is talking about a lot of things here. Clearly, this world is not our home, and we can enjoy a relationship with Father God like Jesus did. Soak in these chapters. They are life changing and you will be blessed.

May you be blessed this Christmas as you worship the Christ.

In what do we hope?

Is the world moving closer to another world war? Current events being reported in the media are pretty harrowing. And, if the truth be told, rather fear inducing. It’s as if there is nothing to contain or stop the death and destruction being carried out by a growing group of terrorists without a moral compass. World leaders are looking at ways to stop the progress of this group, and how best to help those groups suffering the most there in the Middle East. Not an easy task and one fraught with the danger of igniting a conflagration.

I don’t have any magic words. My heart aches for those directly affected and I pray for God’s mercy and provision for them. I pray too that God will grant wisdom beyond human ability as the leaders consider what to do.

It has prompted me to listen carefully to what God might be saying in all this, and especially for myself. The thing that stands out is that God is in control. And though the foundations of law and order have collapsed… God is still God and he rules from heaven. (Psalm 11:3-4). I can trust his unfailing love, no matter what. My hope is in him!

This world is not the be all and end all of everything. Our hope (my hope) is in the promises of God that he has given in the Scriptures.

 

Truth

What is truth? It to have developed a very fluid meaning… changing as the flavour of the month changes.

“Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” John 8:32 TM

Even though society says truth can change based on circumstances, comparisons, new data and levels of experience, ultimate truth isn’t relative. It can’t be rationalised or customised to fit our moods and preferences but no matter how uncomfortable it is, the truth sets us free.

Ultimate truth is what we need, a truth that does not change with our whims, feelings, desires, whatevers. We need a truth that stands the test of time, and, that truth is only found in Jesus Christ.

[The Reading for Today is available at: Daily Readings]

Website dramas

This past week I’ve had to move this website plus several others from where they were being hosted on a very out-of-date hosting platform to a new and up-to-date hosting account.
It all kind of went smoothly, except for Hope-Today… typical.
I ended up spending hours and hours troubleshooting before finally finding the errant link(s). Now, hopefully, all is as it should be.
Have a good week!

My fun pixs at Redbubble

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Take care of your thoughts

Hmmm… this came in my email and as it’s an important thought I just have to share it with you:

“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4:23 NCV

Just as you don’t let everybody who knocks on your door come in and make themselves at home, don’t let every emotion that surfaces dictate the direction of your day or decide your responses.

These readings are available at dailyreadings.net

You might find the following thought provoking video to be interesting:

Something to ponder…

We live in such a world today that it’s hard to know whether today’s truths are true at all because tomorrow it might have become a different truth. So much is relative to what people want to think is truth, and like the weather it changes all the time. This is confusing and confounding, and adds to our frustrations with life (whether we realise it or not).

However, Jesus spoke about truth; a truth that does not change on the whim of man or on how many believe it or on success or failures. The truth Jesus offers us is one that sets us free. It does not depend on what we think or believe but simply on who God is.
Jesus said:
“Then you will know the truth. And the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

Truth is not determined by how many people believe it.
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