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“God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). What a great and simple promise! This is not to say that we are panic-stricken so we huddle behind a protective wall. God is ever-present. He goes with His people into the scene of suffering and onto the platform of pain to sustain them in the midst of it. Refuge means a hiding place. God is our rest, our refuge, our hiding place. In Psalm 91:15 God promises, “He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble.” Again scripture says, “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8). Sometimes we allow bitterness to replace our trust and faith and we can’t seem to find God through our pain. We can’t seem to pour out of our hearts because they have become so hardened. I am reminded of a story about a young Irish immigrant, Joseph Scriven, who was deeply in love with a girl with whom he had made marriage plans. Not long before their wedding day, however, she drowned. For months Scriven was bitter, in utter despair. At last he turned to Christ, and through His grace, he found peace and comfort. Out of this tragic experience, he wrote the familiar hymn that has brought consolation to millions of hearts; “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!” Sometimes our lives are very bright, as it was for Scriven as he approached his wedding day. But like him, we may find that our path also leads through some dark shadows. Business losses, pensions that don’t pay the bills, loss of work, inflation, sickness that lays us low, sorrows that rob our homes of light, children who rebel- all may be turned into blessings for those who find faith in our “Refuge”, our hiding place is in His love. He shelters us, he is strong and courageous. Trust and believe in Him.