It’s so hot in Arizona cacti are dying, mailboxes are melting and all manner of food can be cooked right on the sidewalk. Temperatures were over 100 F in the Sacramento region, last week. My safe haven from the scorching heat was a popular river in Auburn that flows out of Lake Clementine. It’s a good spot and can be my refuge when the temperatures soar above 100 F again.
I feel safe and confident swimming in a pool. Not so much in rivers yet. My trepidation was confirmed by a female park ranger. A swimmer, forcefully swept out of his comfort zone was just air lifted to the hospital. “He’s breathing well now but he barely made it” she said. As I trekked down the dusty worn road to the riverbed, she added “his life-jacket was ripped right off him too. Be extra careful” Sounds like my best hedge against drowning; a life-jacket was no match for the innocent looking river. As I stood in it, knee-high, feet wide apart, toes curled around the firm hard surface of smooth rocks, I surveyed my new life giving source of water and safe haven territory. A smattering of swimmers bobbed up and down in the water as they allowed the current to carry them rapidly downstream.
I thought about how navy seals are trained to find new sources of water in seasons of peace and conflict. I’m in a hard season where the enemy of my soul could easily come crashing in on me, if I’m not extra careful. My need for a new source of water is both physical and spiritual. I’m grateful I know how to find them.
What’s your default mode when you’re in a challenging season, or when the enemy turns up the heat ?
Spiritually, I retreat to the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have no time limit. I seek his presence by setting my affections towards him. My retreat can be likened to a strategic withdrawal of an army before the enemy. It’s an action that is rooted in the truth of this scripture;
“He who believes in Me (who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me) as the scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow (continuously) springs and rivers of living water.” John 7:38 (King James Bible).
Sometimes my retreat involves falling on my face in prayer and worship. His presence is available to me all the time. I take comfort in this spiritual truth too;
“He that dwells in the secret place of the most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1).
Because worship is strategic in nature, (it’s not just mindless, repetitive singing), I come before the Lord knowing that more transformation can happen in a moment of his presence than in a lifetime of my striving or efforts. There is a realm of breakthrough in the throne room that I cannot see with my physical eyes. When I humbly sit at his feet, I position myself to see the unseen, and hear, word after word, of Kingdom come. There is power in these words of old ;
“Our Father who Art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.” The Lord’s prayer.
He is the path to life and peace.
“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at you right hand.” (Psalm 16:11).
I encourage you to seek his presence for whatever season you find yourself in. Set your affections towards him. Retreat to his presence. Life-giving waters are to be found.