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The Profound Gift of God’s Refuge, For Women

how to live in the shadow of God's wings

When we’re going through a scary and uncertain time, or if we’re feeling mistreated, attacked, or overwhelmed by the enemy, there is only one place to run, and only one protector that can really and truly provide an unfaltering, even tangible feeling of protection. Our maker. When we really learn how to run and stay within God’s refuge, it is an absolute life-changer. Before I continue, here are some life-giving scriptures about God’s refuge to ponder…

 Psalm 91: 1-16 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.

 Psalm 46:1-4: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

Psalm 62:8 :Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 18:2 : 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.

Nahum 1:7 : The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 9:9 : The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Psalm 91:1-6 : He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day.

Psalm 119:114 : You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.

Proverbs 30:5: Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 31:19: Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!

Now, I realize these verses apply to all God’s children…men and women equally. But there’s something about God’s protective nature that I feel moves and empowers the female soul in an especially profound way. There’s a reason Scripture instructs men to treat their wives with gentleness and honor, as they are the “weaker vessel.” In context, “weaker vessel” likely carries the meaning of “worth protecting” and “something to cherish” far more than it is intended to identify specific weaknesses or in any way diminish the strength and value of wives. My point here is, women-both married and unmarried- require more emotional care. Not because we’re these tender butterflies who fall apart at the drop of a hat, but because we feel more, care extra, and bear so many invisible burdens.

So, it is my belief that when we-daughters of the living God-are mistreated, intimidated, uncared for, taken advantage of, etc…the Lord steps in “extra.”  Just as any decent Earthly father advocates for the physical and emotional well-being of his daughter, so does God, for us. After all, He’s a God of sovereignty, justice, jealousy (the good kind) and mercy. How could he not step in with thunderous, love-infused provision and protection when seeing his daughter afraid, confused, mistreated, anxiety-ridden and desperate for help?

My most incredible, undeniable, jaw-dropping experiences of God’s love have always been felt during times of incredible aloneness, confusion, and anxiety. He’s rescued and restored me each and every time.

It’s amazing. But what I’ve also learned through the years is God’s refuge is so much more than a temporal shelter when we’re about to break down. Although the analogies of us hiding under His wings are true and beautiful, God is not a place, he’s a being. He’s not a stoic point on the map of life we periodically run to when we’re half-dead and need a pep talk.

I believe the Psalmist David uses the symbolism of wings because birds are always moving. God is always with us, guiding our way and protecting us from the storms of life. When spouses leave, or friends abandon, or finances are a wreck, or the pressures of life drill down on our chests to the point of breathlessness, God will make a way. In my life, no matter what fresh hell I’ve found myself in, He’s always opened doors, provided supernatural clarity, sent unforeseen help, and enacted small miracles that to this day, make no Earthly sense.

So here’s the thing. Every single one of us has access to God’s refuge, but we need to position ourselves under his wing…permanently. We have to cry out to him. We have to stay connected with Him throughout our days, thanking him for being with us, and asking for more of His presence. It means taking the socials off our phones, if necessary, to avoid seeking distraction instead of re-filling of the Holy Spirit. It means laying in our beds at night during that witching hour or two after our kids go to bed, listening to worship, or reading the Word, or watching a YouTube Sermon instead of numbing our pain with wine, a new series, or much worse. God is willing enough, strong-enough, and determined enough to remain hovering, but many times He’s left yearning for a glance upward.

If you find yourself in a crisis, or an especially dark hour, it’s time to position yourself into a posture of God’s refuge. Only there will you find that inexplicable well of comfort from a protective Father with ever-burning fires of affection in his eyes.  It doesn’t matter what you’re running from or recovering from. It doesn’t matter if your problems are self-imposed, or if you’re being attacked and persecuted for no reason. You are His, and He is here to help. You are redeemed and you are chosen, and His heart has nothing but mercy and tenderness towards you.

If you have difficulty trusting or have developed an imbalanced sense of independence derived from a need for self-protection, I get it. But don’t deny yourself the chance to at least try and experience what I’m describing here. There is a way to go through the fire and not be burned. There is a way to walk through the valley without fear, even when you’re surrounded by evil. But it can only be found in God’s refuge. And it’s everything.

For more on facing fear, check out my postHow to Keep Your Eyes on Jesus, When Facing Fear.”


Jessica Kastner is an award-winning journalist, author and contributor to the Christian Broadcasting Network, Huff Post, God TV, Beliefnet, Crosswalk and many more. When she's not burning dinner, daydreaming about the beach, she can be found on the trampoline with her copious amount of children, wishing she'd ordered the turbo shot.

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