“Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary,” (Psalm 96:6 NIV)
I have lived alone in the same one bedroom apartment for the last 35 years. Those who come to visit graciously tell me they feel at peace here. A quick mental check reminds me that much laughter and joy have been experienced here. Even with the many challenges that have met me over these years, this home has been a sanctuary.
So what defines a sanctuary? Some would say it is a holy structure as a church or a temple. I just called my home a sanctuary. Do I have to be in a place in order to feel the peace that is often associated with a sanctuary? As one who deals with daily challenges that do not feel peaceful, I seek my answer deep within where God dwells. I know He dwells there because I invited Him to come and live with me and He said, “Yes, I am here to stay!”
This psalm does not say strength is in my sanctuary. It says that strength is in his sanctuary. Together in my human body we are a sanctuary. God offers His strength to me. He knows that I have so very little on my own. I am in awe that He wants to dwell here and I am so grateful that He does. When I am too weary from the battles that can rage He says, “Come rest.” He lightens my load if I let Him. I can choose to persevere. With Him I can overcome. He is the shining holy One who keeps my spirit alive and my faith burning brightly.
Psalm 96 proclaims the various praises that are due God from all His creation. I certainly can join in the choruses as I give my thanks. I do not need to go seeking a sanctuary. My refuge is
within. I need to attend to the One who is already in residence and a part of me.
Lord, I praise You and delight in Your faithful and loving presence within me. Your strength is now my strength. Together we make this home a gracious sanctuary. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lynn Severance is a retired elementary classroom teacher. She is single and lives alone in Lynnwood, WA. She writes to encourage others as God has encouraged her during 26 years of living with daily physical challenges.