A Place Of Refuge

Southaven, Ms

By: Mike Upchurch

This may not apply to every reader at this time, but do you have a home you love? Do you find that after a trip or a long day of work, the knowledge you’ll soon be home makes you happy? Is your home your refuge from a mean ol’ world?

If your home or your house is not your refuge or safe place, your “happy place” if you will, then obviously something’s wrong. If you’re a Christian, your home should be your little slice of heaven while imprisoned here on this third rock from the Sun. It doesn’t have to be lavish or filled with expensive things to be that, but it needs to be comfortable to you and reflect who you are. It should also be a place where the presence and peace of God is felt by you and by any visitors. If it’s not, then work toward that. Anoint your doorposts with oil and pray over your home. Invoke and invite the presence of the Holy Spirit to make His dwelling place there.

There are other things you can do as well to make your home inviting to you and to make it your retreat. Rearrange furniture, throw things away that are cluttering space you need, create an additional living area outside where you can enjoy the outdoors in privacy. Maybe even fresh paint could help, although that can be a lot of work and expense. But being in your home, no matter where or what it is, and being with your family, should be the one thing you always look forward to at the end of each day.

We all have to make temporary adjustments from time to time with our living quarters. Maybe you’ve downsized and you’re in a small apartment. Maybe you’re having to share with a roommate. Maybe a divorce has you left you compromised as far as where and how you live for now. Many circumstances can alter where home is. I went through a divorce in the early nineties and ending up living in a 28’ Camper Trailer in a Campground. Not the ideal, and certainly not what I had left; a house I loved which we had built together from the ground up. But things happen. Life happens!

I remember my first year in that camper. I’ve always loved Christmas and for the first time in over 16 years I was going to be alone at Christmastime. So, I decorated. Ok, actually I went overboard! There wasn’t room for a large Christmas tree and my pullout bed too, so I compromised with a tabletop tree. But I had lights and decorations and Christmas music playing continually when home. I had pine tree scented spray and apple cinnamon candles burning constantly and I was determined that my overly decorated trailer was going to be my happy place for that Holiday Season. And it worked most days. I couldn’t wait to get home from work and just sit there in the dark sipping hot chocolate while the tree lights twinkled and Christmas music played.

But it was also a very sad time for me. I was away from my kids. But during the worst of times that little trailer was my retreat. My quiet place alone with the Father. That old trailer, with its cramped interior, non working propane stove and squeaky floor was my refuge and provided me emotional healing. I read the Bible all the way through for the first time in that trailer, sitting at a rickety little table by the front window in the mornings, coffee always nearby. I have good memories of my quiet times there. A time of rebuilding my emotional state and a time of planning for the future. But most of all, a time of drawing closer to the Lord than ever before. The groundwork was laid in that little trailer for me to ultimately be in ministry, though I didn’t realize it at the time.

As we enter into the Holiday Season, this is a tough time of year for a lot of people, but no matter what or where your home is, make it your happy place. Your refuge. A place where God dwells! It may not be a cozy cabin in the mountains or an elegant mansion in a gated community, but if it’s all you have at this moment make the most of it for your spiritual health, your peace, and for your emotional well being!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike