by Don Sharp, Refuge Center Intern
When Jesus Christ , the Savior of the World, received news of the beheading of his dear friend “John known as the Baptist” he almost immediately “depart[ed] thence by ship into a desert place apart” (Matthew 14:13) to go and take time to grieve. However, his followers, those who needed his love and healing, followed him and because he is a loving, caring, thoughtful God, he had compassion on them and postponed his own healing for a little while. Instead, he blessed them and fed over five thousand with “five loaves and two fishes.” (Matthew 14:17) One important thing to note, however, is that He didn’t wait several days or months much less just forget it all together, but within a few hours, He did send “the multitudes away” and sought comfort up in a mountain in prayer and seclusion. (Matthew 14:23) He made time, within reason, for Himself to grieve. He, the only begotten son of The Father, understood that even He needed time to grieve.
You will remember that it was after that abbreviated sabbatical that Jesus walked on the water and calmed his deciples by offering “Be of good cheer, It is I, Be not afraid.” (Matthew14:27) and eventually calmed the tossing sea with the simple yet poignant phrase, “peace, be still.” (Mark 4:39) How often those words echo in my own head and I feel a cool breeze across my heated brow as I draw a fresh cool breath through my nostrils that brings strength, hope, and invigoration to my often tired soul. Through His own self-care, Jesus was rejuvenated and went on to perform great miracles. Not the least of which is when he walked on the sea and “immediately stretched forth His hand” to pull a faltering, frightened Peter back to the surface (Matthew 14:31) and bring peace to His companions there on the sea and … eventually, to the whole world, if we would have it.
My dear friends, we can’t hope to be stronger than Him, yet sometimes we insist that we can withstand the buffetings of storm-tossed seas on our own, we tend to strain against the stinging tears of grief and pain without taking a break from the life that would see us broken.
How aptly is The Refuge Center named?! This is truly a place where we can find safety, peace, and , most importantly, rest from the world, if only for a short while to draw in a new fresh, cool breath through our nostrils. It is truly a place where our tears don’t fall on deaf ears, and where we can gain a friend who will help us heal and then discover in ourselves the very hero we need to triumph over our own obstacles.
If you are hurting, scared, or just at your wit’s end, please come and see what truly unconditional love can do for you.
–All references are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.