You can probably remember the wildly successful ad campaign by Southwest Airlines featuring an everyday, hard-working, real-life person, like you and me, facing an array of embarrassing and stressful work place scenarios. In the midst of the messy situation, Southwest would ask the question, “Wanna get away?” They would then tell us of all the amazing, low-priced fares available to a myriad of exciting destinations to help us escape our current reality.
I know why the ads were so popular. They resonated with a longing in the human heart for safety and security. When the storms of life come, we instinctively look for a REFUGE. A refuge is a place of shelter. It’s where you go to find safety and protection when life becomes scary.
Before David became king, he spent roughly a decade running from a tormented and jealous leader named Saul who was hell-bent on killing him. If Southwest Airlines had existed in David’s day, I’m convinced he would have been on the next $49 flight to ANYWHERE. Listen to his passionate cry for help:
My heart pounds in my chest.
The terror of death assaults me.
5 Fear and trembling overwhelm me,
and I can’t stop shaking.
6 Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!
7 I would fly far away
to the quiet of the wilderness. Interlude
8 How quickly I would escape—
far from this wild storm of hatred.
Psalm 55:4-8 NLT
David wants to fly away to a quiet, safe place far away from the “wild storm of hatred.” David’s refuge of choice was a cave. In fact, Psalm 57 is one of three of his “cave psalms” written why he was running for his life. While the physical cave became a hiding place, his REFUGE was not in a place but in a PERSON.
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to you for protection.
I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings
until the danger passes by.
Psalm 57:1 NLT
David found refuge in the presence of the Lord.
For no matter where I am, even when I’m far from home,
I will cry out to you for a father’s help.
When I’m feeble and overwhelmed by life,
guide me into your glory, where I am safe and sheltered.
Psalm 61:2 TPT
God’s glorious, supernatural presence is where we find safety and shelter amidst the raging storms of this life. When you feel feeble and overwhelmed by life, run into the arms of your heavenly Father. He is waiting. He is your refuge.