The Lord is good,
A stronghold in the day of trouble;
He knows those who take refuge in Him.
Scott and I have been honored to know many senior adults. Much of his ministry has been devoted to encouraging and investing in these older members of the church. One of our favorite couples when we lived in Georgia was Mr. Jack and Mrs. Louise.
Mr. Jack was full of life and loved Scott like a son. And Mrs. Louise was a gracious and wise mentor in my life. They traveled with us on a youth mission trip and our students LOVED them. Over the years, we built a precious friendship with these dear couple. Mr. Jack developed dementia and it was heartbreaking to watch this man who loved westerns and made the occasional off-color joke fade away into a shadow of himself as his mind and body slowly diminished.
Ultimately, Mrs. Louise had to move Mr. Jack into a nursing home. It was an agonizing decision and one she had promised him she’d never make. But his safety and her peace of mind made it the only option. When Mr. Jack passed away, we sent messages to those students, now in college, who had loved Mr. Jack. Many of them came home for his funeral and were a comfort to Mrs. Louise.
As she learned to live without him, my heart ached for her loneliness. For even though he had not been himself during the last months of his life, he was there. And now, he wasn’t.
Marriage forges two hearts and minds into one. And watching Mrs. Louise learn to live without Mr. Jack was a lesson to me in courage and leaning into the grace of God.
Dark days will come in our lives. But Mrs. Louise taught me what it is to take refuge in the Lord. All the years of loving Mr. Jack and of their life together brought her joy … the memories were precious and held dear.
Perhaps you are facing a difficult season. Maybe your marriage is falling apart and you are questioning if it’s worth holding on. Perhaps your spouse isn’t a believer or has wandered far from a faith previously held. Maybe you are facing a chronic illness and you wonder if your marriage can withstand the stress and survive. There are many reasons to give up and feel hopeless … but may I encourage you today to remember this: God is your refuge! He is there in every hard time and every moment you want to give up … when you are tired and weary and worn — He is there! And you are invited to take refuge in Him.
Lord, dark days come in our lives. We know that. We find ourselves in circumstances we never dreamed possible. We become overwhelmed and exhausted. And we wonder where hope is in the midst of trial and tragedy. But You, O Lord, are our hope! You are a refuge for us in the seasons of strife and days of difficulty. Draw us close to You. And let us be a testament to Your grace. When the dark days come, Lord, we will take refuge in You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.