“Protect me, O God, for in You I take refuge. I say to the Lord, You are my God; I have no good apart from You.” (Ps 16)
Two weeks ago, on a mission trip with our church youth to the Navajo Nation in Arizona, our group got caught in a rain storm. We were on I-40, just east of Gallup, New Mexico, when the heavens opened up.
At first, it was a sprinkle, then a shower, then a downpour, then a deluge. The rain came down in waves. Then the rain came sideways. Then the rain mixed with hail. Finally, we came to a stop along the side of the road, hazard lights flashing, and we prayed.
It was only after we stopped that I realized how hard I’d been gripping the steering wheel. I had finger nail marks on the palms of my hands. I also realized how scared the youth in the van were. Some of the girls in the van had put a blanket over their heads to try to pretend it wasn’t happening.
Don’t we all want to put a blanket over our heads sometimes to pretend the storms aren’t happening? Wouldn’t it be nice if a good thermal blankie would hide us from financial troubles, relationship troubles, health troubles, and the like? But, no, not even the best hiding place will keep the world away. Only God is a trustworthy refuge.
That day in the rainstorm, we prayed, “God, help us. God, deliver us safely.” And He did. The rain eased up, the traffic kept moving, we found a restroom at the next exit, and we arrived on time at our destination. Parts of our week together were hard, of course, but there was goodness, too, because God was there.
There really isn’t any good apart from him.