2016 Advent Devotional Day 23

December 19, 2016

Morning Psalms: 61, 62 | Evening Psalms: 112, 115 | Isaiah 11:1-9 | Revelation 20:1-10 | John 5:30-47

Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! (Ps 61:4)

I’ve never taken shelter under a feathered wing. But I was once very grateful to have a patch of shelter under a tractor.

I was backpacking with eleven other teen-aged Girl Scouts. A farmer gave us permission to camp overnight in his field. He also offered to let us sleep in his tractor shed—he didn’t seem to think much of sleeping in tents. We experienced backpackers confidently stuck with our camping plan.

In the middle of the night, a heavy rain began to flood the field. We all scooped up our sleeping bags and dashed for the tractor shed. As we settled down around the perimeter of the shed, there was a fair bit of grousing, because no one had quite as much room as we’d had in our tents. But we eventually settled down. That is, until the two girls closest to the door realized that water was coming into the shed also. So we scrunched closer together and away from the door, and finally all slept on dry ground.

When morning came, I was surprised to see I was right under the tractor engine, the very space I tried to avoid when we first entered the shed. I thought it would be yucky under the engine; instead, I spent a restful and dry night. Indeed, there was sufficient refuge for the whole group when we moved in deep and tight.

God calls us to take refuge deep and tight under his wings. Like my place of rest under the tractor engine, the refuge sometimes doesn’t look like the form that I would choose on my own. Nevertheless, God is always faithful to provide the refuge I truly need when I turn to him.

Gracious Lord, thank you for the birth of your Son Jesus, who is “God with us” and enthroned forever. Thank you that trusting in Jesus leads us to places of sweet refuge. Help us to seek your refuge every day. Amen.


The Rev. Jan Wiley Dantone (MDiv 2006, DMin student)
Associate Rector, St John the Divine
Houston, TX

Morning Psalms: 61, 62 | Evening Psalms: 112, 115 | Isaiah 11:1-9 | Revelation 20:1-10 | John 5:30-47