November 14, 2018

Be My Rock of Refuge

Psalm 71:1-18

Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.

—  Psalm 71:3

While writing these devotions, I was hospitalized for almost two weeks in connection with a surgery. It was a time of uncertainty for me and our family, and I was often afraid of what might happen. But the surgeon reassured us confidently that things would be okay. Though he made us aware of risks, he was hopeful about the outcome.

Psalm 71 seems to be written by someone who was growing frail; the psalmist asks God not to let him “be put to shame” or to forsake him when his strength is gone. At the same time the psalmist also ex­presses deep confidence and trust in God.

Many people journeyed alongside our family as I regained my strength. Like the psalmist, I felt that my life was a sign to many witnesses, demonstrating God’s goodness and provision. We were continually amazed at all the ways we were being cared for.

We know that my health situation could have unfolded in a very different way, but what never changes is that God is our rock and fortress. Though our bodies may grow frail, our confidence can become more sturdy: “Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go.” We can trust that when we cry out and ask the Lord for healing, he always hears our prayers.

Lord, to whom can we go but you? Be our rock of refuge so that we can confidently turn to you in times of strength or weakness, for you are our rock and our fortress. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Julia Prins Vanderveen

Julia Prins Vanderveen works and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with her husband, Trevor, and their three sons. Julia has served as a copastor with Trevor at a church in Vancouver. She is a campus pastor and a humanities teacher at the Vancouver Christian School.

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