When I’m at odds with my circumstances, at some point, I ultimately start fighting them, grasping and clawing at their edges, reaching for something different on the other side. The frustration and fatigue take over my will and I try to fix unfixable things. In my own power (of which I have run out), in my own timing (of which I have already exceeded the due date), I rely on my knowledge, my ability to sort through the data of my circumstances to better understand them and manage them. I got this. I can logic my way out. Right?
Then, hours, days, weeks, or months into the middle of this effort and striving, when nothing has changed except my level of frustration, I am suddenly interrupted by a song calling me out of myself. Sometimes it’s an actual song and sometimes, a warm breeze, sunshine on my face, an unexpected hug from a beautiful little boy, a time of worship, a maniacal giggle from the other room. This song disrupts the angst gnawing at my heart, lifts it up into my line of sight and says, “look at this one last time, see what it is doing, and let it go.”
I didn’t even know I was holding on to it until that moment. But it’s been heavy.
Finally, I look at the same circumstances through the lens of this song, the hard, jagged edges become soft. They start to dissolve. My dissatisfaction doesn’t seem so urgent and other important things come into sharper focus: things like kindness, love, and gentleness. The knot of frustration loosens and gratitude begins to take hold of my heart. Compassion becomes more important than being right, curiosity more important than assumption, and faith becomes more important than tying everything up in a pretty bow.
Yes, life can be hard, but through this song (whatever form it takes), I can take refuge in peace that surpasses all understanding, even in chaos, knowing it is a gift from God to save me from myself.
Are you like me? Do you like to fix the unfixable?
Refuge: Our shelter
Psalm 32:7 says “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
I don’t think this means we won’t have trouble, but that we can be protected from it as God surrounds us with his presence through the songs he places in our lives. These songs have the power to deliver us from bearing weight we were never meant to carry. Through them, he leads us to a protected shelter in our hearts where we can experience peace outside of our circumstances. But we have to allow ourselves to be interrupted.
Will we allow ourselves to be interrupted?
What have been some of your songs of deliverance? Where do you find refuge when the world is brimming with chaos?
I hope you find refuge. I hope we all find it. “He is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Ps 46:1).”