I was praying the other night, and asked God what he wants my next article to be about. This isn’t something I do all the time as I often have something pressing, but over the course of the last month my wells felt a bit dry, no ideas or passions springing up.
After I asked, I waited. And I felt the spirit whisper ‘refuge’, and then came a physical ache inside me, ‘my children have forgotten how to make me their safety’.
Refuge: a state of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or difficulty.
Working with young people, especially young people at risk, I’ve learnt the importance and the significance of what is called, ‘the safe place’. The Safe Place, is the place a person can resort to where they are free from all harm. The place where they are completely secure. This will be the place the child is most themselves and most happy. Sometimes referred to as ‘my happy place’.
For example, the treehouse in the backyard, when I play with the dog, at grandma’s house etc. The safe place is often where the child will retreat to in times of conflict or harm. I have listened to incidences where children have run away from home and travelled miles in an attempt to get to their safe place.
So when does the need for safety leave us? I don’t believe it ever does. In hindsight, we are all children. We all have safe places. I can think of a few of mine. Oddly enough, when I’m with my horse, I feel safe–fully known and loved. Other examples of my safe places are when I snuggle with my parents in their bed (being 20 doesn’t outdo the safety of this guys!), camping in the Flinders Ranges (thanks to childhood memories), and when I’m being hugged by my parents best-friends.
But ever just had seasons in your life where it feels like everything’s a battle and landmines are going off everywhere you turn? Where, for whatever reasons, your safe places just don’t feel safe enough? Ya, been there. And I had two choices: panic and run wild on the battlefield, or run straight to Jesus for my refuge. Sometimes the first option felt more comfortable, but If I stopped to rest I realised I was still getting hit.
So I ran straight into his arms, and it was the best place to run to. Bullets just repelling off his shield and no longer my heart. His refuge is for rest. His refuge is for healing. His refuge is for protection and joy. His refuge is for anyone that needs it.
So I just wanted to remind you all today, that it’s okay to stop, it’s okay when you feel like you need to run away from it all. But instead of running away just stop & run to him. Let him be your refuge. You don’t need to give an answer to situations around you. You don’t need to fight your battles either. If things are difficult, rocky, overwhelming… Just run to your refuge: Jesus Christ. He will keep you safe and he will cover you with his wings. He is there with arms wide open. And he is fighting whilst you rest.
You are safe with him. You will FOREVER be safe with him.
HE IS OUR REFUGE AND STRENGTH.
(Psalm 16, quite possibly one of my favourite passages of scripture).
“Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
(Psalm Chapter Sixteen)
Shannon Munyard is home to the Adelaide Hills where she works as a horse riding instructor and equine assisted learning facilitator at a non-for profit youth campsite. Shannon is passionate about authenticity, and seeing people connected to their hearts. She loves the outdoors, bush camping, pondering deep questions and Jesus.
Her archive of articles may be viewed at