ODJ: Finding Refuge

October 21, 2016 

READ: Matthew 26:36-46 

My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me (v.38).

Who do you turn to in moments of deep distress? Some seek the counsel and comfort of family—a spouse, parents, siblings; and some call on close friends. We appreciate the words of advice, but mostly the comforting presence of those who know us. It’s reassuring to know that we don’t have to go it alone.

Jesus sought out His friends in a time of deep distress. The night before He was crucified, He revealed His anguish to three close friends, saying, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.” And He asked them for their company and prayer support: “Stay here and keep watch with me” (Matthew 26:38).

Loving family and friends can help take the edge off of an unbearable situation. So it’s important that we build strong relationships during the smooth-sailing days of life, preparing for the times when the storms of life will come with their cold, howling winds.

Jesus understands our need for human companionship. He didn’t stop at seeking His friends’ support, however. Ultimately, Jesus turned to His heavenly Father. In complete honesty, He laid out His request to God (v.39); and in total submission, He asked that His Father’s will be done (v.42).

Christian poet Annie Johnson Flint wrote: “ ‘His will be done,’ we say with sighs and trembling, expecting trial, bitter loss and tears. And then how doth He answer us? With blessings, and sweet rebuking of our faithless fears. God’s will is peace and plenty and the power to be, and have the best that He can give: A mind to serve Him, a heart to love, and faith to die, and the strength to live. It means for us all good, all grace, all glory.”

Our heavenly Father is our loving, faithful, true refuge.

—Poh Fang Chia

365-day plan: Acts 9:20-31

Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 to see some advantages of companionship; and read Psalm 62:5-8 for more words about God being our refuge. 
How can you build stronger relationships with others? What does it mean for God to be your true refuge?