“Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge” (Psalm 16:1). “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble . . .” (Psalm 32:7a).
Our little granddaughter was afraid of animals — all animals terrified her. We didn’t know why. She just was.
Pat, our youngest daughter, was still living at home and had talked me into letting her have a white cat, which she named Ugali. Ugali had the run of the house. (My house rules have changed considerably the last few years.)
When our granddaughter came over, we would generally lock Ugali in one of the bedrooms. But one day Ugali got out and wandered into the kitchen where we were gathered talking.
When our granddaughter saw Ugali, she ran as fast as she could to the closest adult, me, jumped onto my lap, tucked her feet up, and made herself as small as possible. She “took refuge” in the arms of an adult she trusted. I was her “hiding place.”
We did not scold the child for being scared. I put my arms around her and talked to her softly, comforting her until she was brave enough to go and play again.
We all knew that the cat had no intention of harming the little girl, but she didn’t know that, so I simply held her.
I believe God is as gentle with us and even more so. We can come to Him with our fears, whether they are real or imagined. He will surround us with His loving arms, talk softly to us, and strengthen us until we are brave enough to face the world again.
Thank You, Lord, for being our refuge when we are afraid, whether it is real or imagined. Thank You that You are our hiding place. Amen.
by Katherine Kehler
used by permission