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My Strength And Refuge

by Chris Surber  
8/06/2008 / Christian Living

The memories of Marine Corps basic training are still fresh in my mind. I remember the sound of the Drill Instructor's clicking heels as he hunted for a recruit who was standing at less than perfect attention. I remember the smell of newly issued uniforms yet to be worn. I can still smell the fresh leather and feel the new boots being broken in while I marched proudly with the rest of my platoon.

Most of all I remember the comfort I received as I spoke each night to my Heavenly Father. The days were long and difficult, filled with constant activity and the relentless threat of the Drill Instructor's wrath! The nights, on the other hand, were oh so short and very sweet. Through it all the presence of God calmed and encouraged my weary spirit. My bunk-mate was a recruit who always seemed to stick out like a sore thumb. In fact, the thing I struggled with the most was not being "asked" to do pushups as a result of laughter at the Drill Instructors near constant berating comedy routine incurred by my bunk-mate!

Each evening after lights out, he often overheard my prayers coming from the top bunk. One evening, he asked me where the peace that he sensed in me came from. I explained to him that my trust was not in my own strength or abilities, but in the power of God to strengthen and care for me. We live in times of uncertainty and unrest. At times, it appears the world around us has gone completely insane.

Many question the rational of our political leadership, cost of every day living soars out of control, friends and loved ones are out of work. Our hearts are left to cry out, "when will it end!?" In times of uncertainty we have two choices; we can be filled with fear as we depend on our own strength or we can cast our fears on God who has promised never to leave us or forsake us! Psalms 18:2 says, "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (ESV)

Chris Surber is the Pastor of First Congregational Church of Peru, Illinois. A graduate of Liberty Theological Seminary, he is known for his compassion for people and his passion in the pulpit.

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