On this bright and glorious Monday morning is anyone else already running low on sleep due to the Olympics? Ha. I love the Olympics and gymnastics and swimming are two of my favorite sports (in the Olympics). Last night was a lot of fun watching the U-S-A do well in both. I’m sure tonight will be a lot of fun as well.
Today I want to share a little from Paul Tripp’s article called “Run and Hide.” Paul is one of those people that I follow and read very often. You will notice me using his quotes quite frequently, usually on the church Facebook page. I am a little ashamed to say that I didn’t even know who Paul was until a few years ago when our son, Caleb, invited Jennifer and I to a marriage conference. Paul Tripp was really good and since then I have discovered that he has more memorable quotes than I can count. He literally says hundreds of things that are better than any one thing I have ever said. So let me encourage you find more things by Paul and read them. We will be watching one of his videos on a Sunday night in the near future and we are looking at possibly using his parenting series for a parenting conference this fall. But back to the topic at hand: Run and Hide.
Paul lists a number of different dangers that we all face today and then he gives the answer of why it is acceptable to run and hide. Let me just give you his answer in quote form today.

“As a Christian, running and hiding isn't something to be ashamed of. In fact, the Bible encourages it! There are seemingly endless references in the Psalms where the author is seeking a refuge, a shield, a rock, or a fortress (see 9:9, 18:2, 27:1, 37:39, 94:22, 144:2, and many others).

Running and hiding doesn't get us into trouble; running to the wrong refuge and hiding in the wrong fortress does. When trouble comes, do you run to other people? Do you hide in the fortress of Netflix? Do you run to alcohol? Do you hide in the busyness of a work schedule?

The reality is that we all run and we all hide, but there's only one safe place. The Lord is the world's most reliable stronghold. He has the power to protect you, and he has the grace to restore your soul. He gives strength to the weary and returns the joy of the broken.

Only Christ can renew you, body and soul. Heaven and earth obey his commands. He is an immovable rock and an impenetrable shield. He delights in holding you in the hollow of his hand. He takes joy in covering you in the shadow of his wing.

Why don't you run and hide in him?”

Have you ever considered that sometimes you just need to run and hide? But as he said, our temptation is to run and hide in the wrong place. We think that the things of this world can ease the pain that we often feel. Maybe food or an immoral physical relationship or even out-of-control shopping sprees are your “go-to” for running and hiding. Whatever it is, it is never where we really need to go. Christ is the only answer for the dangers and hurts we face each day. I pray that God will speak to you and today you will run into his arms!
Please be in prayer for the items I mentioned last week. I hope to have more info on our Missions emphasis very soon. I also ask that you pray as we begin to finally prepare for our church’s 150th anniversary coming in February of 2018. It seems like a long way away but it is closer than you think. My dream is that our church will see this is a huge “mile marker” with great effort leading up to it and great momentum to move forward on the other side. We all need to celebrate key events in our lives but hopefully they are reminders of why God has placed us here.
Tell someone about Jesus TODAY!!