Sanctuary: “Into the Word” Week 12

I will never forget the experience.  My husband walked with me one bright summery day along wooden bridges — paths through the sanctuary.  I saw wounded birds — birds that might never take flight again, with crippled wings and cavernous, empty eyes.  Here, they found respite from the dangerous wild, generous provision, and compassionate care.  Without this place of rescue and healing, rehabilitation would not be possible.

Who cares for our wounded? Is not the church a sanctuary?  So often, we put on our Sunday best and walk through the doors with plastered smiles, but underneath, our wings are clipped  with spirits in need of some serious restoration.  A friend recently confided that God has breathed fresh life into her family by bringing her to a safe haven — a new church home that has allowed her to worship with transparency and truth.  A healing balm has been applied to her dry soul.

This week, as I was digging “Into the Word, I re-discovered this truth in the beauty of Psalm 27.  Here the word “tabernacle” is translated beautifully as “sanctuary”:

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.

The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
   He will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.  (vs. 1-6,  NLT)

I love how Matthew Henry’s commentary introduces this Psalm:  God is a Light to His people, to show them the way when they are in doubt, to comfort and rejoice their hearts when they are in sorrow.”  Where did the weary warrior, David, seek refuge?  David understood the source of his strength was connecting with God — delighting in Him, meditating on His Word,  and worshiping freely.

I am thankful for the safe haven of my church family —

…for caring friends who speak life over my spirit and pray me through

…for sound spiritual nourishment that encourages me to keep fighting

…for the refreshing touch of His healing presence discovered as we lift our voices in praise

How has the church been a sanctuary to you?  Are you a wounded bird now flying?  I would love to hear about your healing.  Feel free to share in the comment section below.

Every Monday we will be working our way through Anne Graham Lotz’s 52-week study “Into the Word.”    Hop on over to the 3dLessons4Life Blog Facebook Page to join us as we dig into God’s Word together.

Linking up with a like-minded sisters at Faith Filled Friday, Thought-Provoking Thursday,  Good Morning Girls,  God -Bumps and God-Incidences, Soli Deo Gloria @ Finding Heaven and “Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday!”

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Thought-Provoking Thursday,