Wisdom in Winter – Day 6 – Fortress

Read

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10

Reflect

I did absolutely nothing to encourage my family’s love of rollercoasters. I cannot see the appeal of being thrown around at great speeds until you feel sick. Why would you choose to pay money for that experience? When I am on a ride, I just can’t wait to get my feet back on the ground. My husband, on the other hand, thinks adrenaline-fuelled twists and turns are great fun. He loves taking our girls on rides and then getting back into the queue for another go. It’s bewildering.

Some people seem to enjoy taking risks more than others, but whatever our personality, we will all have to face our fears at times and so will our children. Frankly, sometimes life is a rollercoaster – whether we want it to be or not. We all want to get off the ride at times and we all have to learn how to cope when our stomach is in knots.

When the world is spinning, we look for safe ground. As today’s proverb reminds us, we all long for security and safety. We look for reassurance that we’re not going to fall, or that the danger won’t be too much to bear. We look for relationships that are dependable and trustworthy. We look for a home where we feel welcome. We look for places where we feel confident and where we can take risks with good support around us.

Proverbs 18:10 specifically proclaims that the name of the Lord is a fortified tower, a safe place to run to in times of need. Parenting isn’t always easy, and it certainly isn’t about us always holding it together, thank goodness. We all need help sometimes.

It’s not a weakness to lean on our safe people and to rest in our secure places. Instead, it shows a character-building strength and humility. God places us in family and community for a reason and he empowers others to strengthen and support us in the difficult times.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1

It is never a failure to take refuge in a strong fortress. It is a wise decision. And it’s such a blessing to be able to teach our children that God will always be their safe place too.

This is why I love how Jesus modelled this in Matthew 19:14, when he welcomed the young children, inviting them to come to him even when others were discouraging it.  As parents, we get the amazing privilege of showing our children how God is our fortress and the place we run to when times are difficult. Of course, we won’t always be able to fix everything or pray away the pain, even though we want to. But what we can do is come to Jesus and know his welcome and his love in every circumstance.

As we make God our secure fortress, our children will see us coming to him for comfort and refuge in the unexpected twists and turns of life. And as they see this modelled by us, we pray that God will always be the safe place they turn to with all their joys and sorrows.

Respond

  • Where are you on the rollercoaster of life today? Are you on the slow climb up, or feeling the rush on the way back down. Do you feel like you’re being flung around the carriage on those rapid twists and turns, or finally coming to a stop at the platform?
  • Which Bible verse could you reflect on and memorise to reinforce your secure foundations in God and his word?
  • How do you respond when your children are afraid, stressed or sad? How does this help you to understand how God wants to protect and support you as his child?

Cathy’s top tip

Think about the image of a fortress, how it’s designed to bring protection and safety to everyone in the family and community. A picture can sometimes remain in your mind more easily than words. Maybe you and your family could draw or paint your own fortress and pick your favourite Bible verse to remind you of God’s protection.

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