The refuge we all truly seek

For a couple of years I lived in a country that tolerated very little political dissent and that seemed in many ways quite oppressive to me. Before too long, however, I began to hear stories from those living around me of far worse conditions in the neighboring nation, whose border was just two miles from where I was living. Local residents often talked about the creative ways people found to escape from that highly oppressive country into ours to find refuge.

Most people probably don't know firsthand what it's like to want so desperately to flee from political or religious persecution in search of a safer, freer home. For many, oppressive conditions are strictly the state of things in other lands, touching other lives. But such things as weariness, depression, illness, are also a kind of oppression. They would tend to hold us down, keep us from being active, from living a full life.

We may not normally think of these things in terms of oppression, but rather see them as a natural part of life, and with no option open to us of finding permanent freedom. Yet, increasing freedom from such oppression is available. The Bible says we find it in Spirit, God, who is "our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps. 46:1).

Abraham, the man who trusted God
August 16, 1993

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