refuge trw

So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. (Hebrews 6:18)

Read: Ezekiel 10:1-11:25, Hebrews 6:1-20, Psalm 105:16-36, Proverbs 27:1-2

Relate: Things felt better after my sleepless night where I was an emotional wreck. I had heard some rough news the night before and had spent the entire night in a vain attempt to get more information. I would try to call the hospital but they weren’t giving away anything on the phone beyond, “he’s stable”. This was before the era of cell phones and texting so anyone else I would want to call was either asleep or not at home. It is frustrating not knowing what is going on.

But early that morning I rode out with my cousin and another friend to the airport. No new information had arrived but our outlook had changed. I was planning to take the first flight home and they were there to keep me company. We were joking and laughing. Yes, it did seem a bit surface, but things would get better. They had to. Didn’t they?

That was when we saw the dean of students heading our way. At almost the same time the airport’s intercom called out for my cousin to take a courtesy call. The dean pulled me aside and had me sit down. Then he completely wrecked my world with three words. “Your father’s dead.”

React: That was my first flight ever. They had tried to contact me before I left so that I wasn’t on the plane the entire time still not knowing what was going on. The first leg of that plane was from Springfield MO to Chicago IL. Our plane was so small it actually had to stop at Springfield IL to refuel. While we were on that puddle jumper the pilot chose to fly between two strata of clouds. I literally saw the sun rise over one layer and then set into the next in about 40 minutes. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

I was writing about that sight a year later when I felt God saying to me, “I am still faithful.” From that perspective I could see through the pain how true that was. I could see the dozens of ways He had orchestrated events to prepare me, to prepare my family, for my father’s death. It was a sudden accident. It was a freak bumping of heads on a basketball court. But even though my father left me on 11/4/97, my God did not. And because I have a sure confidence that my God will not, cannot lie, I know that I will see my dad again. That is my sure hope. That is my refuge.


God, I thank You that even in the storms You are there. I thank You for bringing beauty even in my darkest hours. Help me to live up to the legacy of those who have gone before me. Though I may, at times, question what You are doing, let me rest in the confidence that You are good.

11 thoughts on “Refuge

  1. Thank you, this is a beautiful post and I found solace in it this morning. God speaks, and when we listen the result is always something wonderful. When we share what we’ve heard it rings out and the sound of it brings comfort to all who hear. =)

  2. Good morning, BJ. While we have never met, our lives have surely crossed. I, too, received dire news as a college student and returned to a family with a parent newly absent. My Dad booked a flight back home. My home town: Springfield, IL. I well remember that flight, which was delayed 2 hours and had people grumbling about missing connections and being late for meetings. I was numb and silent. And God spoke into that silence as God always does. February 26, 1982.

    We remember these dates and these times, by the mercy of God, because they continue to bless. Even in the sadness. You see, my business is injury prevention in youth sports. My current cause, head injury and concussion. My friend, I enjoy our connection. Perhaps one day, in God’s plan, we will meet. And we will know each other already.

    I am very, very sorry for your loss. But grateful for the gain God keeps adding.

  3. Reblogged this on Glenford's Daily Word, Food, & The Vine and commented:
    BJ, this hit home for me. I lost my brother in 1984, for years I never recovered, I wandered the planet like the Israelites list in the wilderness. I don’t think I list my faith I just did not know what it was or why I just could not be happy. Today though I have found my joy and it is in The Lord God almighty and his son Jesus. Through the writings, prayer and faith of people such as Pastor Olsteen, my friend Tracie and you I have my joy and will never let anyone or anything ever take it away again for I have faith in The Lord. Thanks man keep it up.

  4. WOW!!!! thank you for that story today!!! I have been asking today why do certain things happen, and with absolute certainty I agree with you that God is with us, and that he is faithful and WE can believe in the things He tells us, also that we might not understand everything here on this earth but we can believe that He has a plan!!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing your loss and your hope. I, too, experienced loss. My twenty-year-old son died two years ago. This loss has made God and Heaven even more real to me.

    May today be filled with joyful memories of your dad. May God bless you with peace, joy, and strength. Amen.

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