That man is perfect in faith who can come to God in the utter dearth of his feelings and desires, without a glow or an aspiration, with the weight of low thoughts, failures, neglects, and wandering forgetfulness, and say to Him, ‘Thou art my refuge.’
One of my most recent readings is George MacDonald by C.S. Lewis, a 365 day devotional of quotes by George MacDonald collected by C.S. Lewis. Oh, believe me, it is incredible. I’ve already been so encouraged by the very thought provoking and truthful sayings on life, death, salvation, faith, compassion, fire, etc… I highly recommend this read.
The idea that even in the midst of all our faults, failures, lack of faithfulness and belief, and sin, a person can look unto God and say, “I know I suck, but you are my refuge, and I am Yours.” In the midst of our imperfections, fears, and anxiety, we can hide in the shadow of His wings.
For many years I fought against extreme fear of an angry God. I thought that God would at any moment, reach down not to give me life, but to spite me of all love and peace because of the things I have done. I thought God was an angry father, ready to beat the living hell out of me with no mercy until I bled and laid on the ground dead, not ready for the further burning of hell forever that I would eventually be sent to bare.
Now, I realize how terribly wrong that idea was, how false and how destructive it was. I was fearful of God, not in a reverent way, but in a way that is not godly, a fear that is opposite of the true nature of my Father in Heaven – Perfect Love.
I had come to believe that “the gods are angry”, that they are so angry, I have no chance of mercy for all the things I’ve done. Unlike the grace of God our loving Father and forgiver, I had accepted, without understanding, the gods’ anger that pagan Greeks had feared. I had believed in a god who hated me because of my wretched sin.
He does not hate me, he hates what evil and utter death had done to me.
How treacherous this idea is, and that so many of us who desire to follow the way of Christ and His life, find ourselves in the midst of our sins and guilt and shame, that we can’t come past the condemnation of a false understand of the anger of God. May the true God of mercy and grace have mercy and grace upon our false beliefs.
God is not angry with us, He does not hate or condemn us. What He hates and despises is the evil and death that overtakes His children, His blessed creation.
I have learned and He has burned within my heart that in the midsts of utter sin and failures to serve and live in eternal life, there is great grace for those who say, “God, you are my refuge”. God wants us to live in the understanding of His grace, that surpasses all understanding; that God is forgiving, and with all we do wrong, He is still so in love with us, wishing that we would no longer perish, and it is within His likeness that we are given mercy.
Let us never live believing God is angry with us or condemning us. Let us live believing in His undying love, faithfulness, and grace, accepting His forgiveness with reverence and humility, and let His Love burn our sin and death to pieces with His fire, knowing that it only leads us into further peace and great joy.
Thou art my Refuge.