~O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction~
Are we able to proclaim these words? Has the truth of them become our truth? Sometimes it takes times of sorrow, pain or fear before we are able to own that Jesus is our strength, fortress, refuge and, indeed, our very life. However, before we look into what He desires to become for us, let us inquire into Who is this LORD the prophet speaks of?
He is Almighty God, JEHOVAH! ~Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory~ He is the sovereign Ruler over all the affairs of man. He is the ~Lord of Hosts~ meaning He leads the battle against all the forces of evil and darkness. The final outcome is never in question…He is and will be forever triumphant!
He is our strength. This mighty One comes to His children in gentleness to strengthen. Whispering words of kindness He reminds us He is with us. Sometimes our grief of heart is so intense, all we can hear is, ~I am with thee~. He speaks to us through Scripture, other Christians, a bird, a flower, the soft breeze of early springtime. His words to us are….love.
A fortress around us He is. Strong, impregnable, absolute protection. Nothing can penetrate our fortress without His loving permission and ever watchful eye. Nothing can destroy our soul. The Rock of strength is our Rock. When the winds of war assail us they crash and fall when they try to tear down our Fortress.
Sweetest of all, He is our refuge. He invites us to hide under His wings of tenderness. Here we find warmth and nourishment as we rest in security and peace against His side. When we cry out to Him, He is swiftly at our side as He envelops us in wings of love. ~How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings ~ He calls out to those who are outside His warmth.
Finally, He is ours. He is our strength, our fortress, our refuge. Nothing can ever take us away from Him. ~ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord~.
~The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God~