Our world is filled with stressful events and threats. Anyone who reads the newspaper or watches television news is aware of danger in many forms. Media has this “If it bleeds, it leads” mentality and because of that, we are bombarded with negativity. Thus the appeal of a secluded and tranquil garden — it gives a sense of being away from all that.
Gardens are not our only refuge. For some, it is the inside of the house. Others escape to the beach or the mountains or a retreat center. For the people of God, our refuge is God Himself.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:8)The first part of this verse is important. I could not consider God as my refuge if I did not trust Him always. No one would sit easily on a chair that had once collapsed or be at peace in a bed that swayed with every movement. God is firm, a stalwart in my life. I know that He is faithful in the good times and when all else is dangerous and threatening. I can run to Him and be sure that He is there for me.
Not only that, I can also pour out my heart to Him. He understands. He knows what I am going through. Jesus, who is also my intercessor, experienced every negative thing that I experience.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)In His humanness, He knows my struggles and feels my pain. He welcomes me into His confidence with empathy and gracious understanding.
Further, I can trust my innermost thoughts with Him. He doesn’t tell me the secrets of others; He does not give up my confidences either. He is a perfect friend as well as my divine refuge.
“Selah” appears often in the Psalms. It is thought to be a musical term. It means to lift up or exalt. It also means to pause and could be a musical accent. That little word tells me that I need to stop and think about the words of this verse. They are more than “nice” words, more than a gentle reminder. This is how God wants me to live; trusting Him at all times, pouring out my heart to Him, and running to Him as my hiding place and my strong tower. Selah says stop, consider this, take it to heart and exalt God.
Gardens are wonderful, as are other places of refuge. However, they become weedy, require maintenance, and are not always available. God is perfect and without flaw. He is always here, always ready to hide me in His wonderful peace and lasting care. As Isaiah says (26:3), “You will keep me in perfect peace; my mind is stayed on You, because I trust in You.