I was sitting in church a few weeks back when I thought of the word sanctuary. Doesn’t sanctuary mean a safe place? Why is it that so often we look for sanctuary and we can’t find it where it should be? In church we call the main meeting place the sanctuary. Because that’s what it’s called in the bible as the place where God dwells. Well I think that there’s a deeper meaning beyond that.
As I try to cope with my brother Tim being gone at boot camp and my brother John being at MCT I find myself looking for a safe place where I can share my feelings and be understood. I find myself thinking of all my friends and wondering which ones would actually understand what’s going on in my life. Actually try to empathize and give me comfort when I’m going through a hard time. It was hard to think of a friend I could go to. I needed a sanctuary and there wasn’t one. They say you know who your true friends are when you go through hard times because true friends will stick around when you’re at your worst. Here I find myself doubting my friendships. With drama and everything going on I even wonder how many of my friends even notice that I’m missing my brothers. Today I went to my friend Sara and my words to her were “Hi. I miss you. I don’t know why I came over here but I just want to talk to you cuz I wrote a letter to Tim in US History and I was crying and I just really miss him and I really want a hug.” Was I intending to tell her that? Not really. Am I glad I did? Yeah. Cuz she took me in her arms and gave me a hug and told me not to cry because everything will be okay. And coming from her I believed it.
What does my friend Sara have to do with sanctuary? She is a fellow believer. In the bible it says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. God dwells in his sanctuary. We are his sanctuary. We are a safe place. We are the person you can run to when the sky is falling down and you feel like the world is turned upside down. and everyone is out to get you. We are a place of refuge. Because God lives in us.
Are you a safe place that others can run to?
Are you peace in the storm?
Are you a rock in sinking sand?
Is the Holy Spirit dwelling in you?
These are questions I find myself asking. These are the things I use to find my true friends. The people I can trust with my broken pieces. This is what makes me go back to prayer group day after day even though I’m too shy to actually talk to anyone. These people are real. They’re safe. They’re gonna hear the words “I cried myself to sleep” and not take it lightly.
It just really bothers me that I pour so much into my relationships and I get nothing out of them. I’m always there for my friends but when I need them to be there they are no where to be found. I want someone’s shoulder to cry on. I want to go on a walk with Tim. I want to talk about all the drama that is going on in my life and cry over my unsaved friends and be encouraged and uplifted and I just want to start the healing process. But I can’t. Because everyone who I could ever trust with the real me has left. California, Colombus… And now I’m left here pushing away all the people who are left here, scared that they would leave too…
The worst part about the whole ordeal is that I’ve been pushing away God even though I know he is the only one that will never leave me. I feel like my scars go too deep and God’s love will never be enough to give me peace. His sanctuary will never be safe enough. But that’s a lie. His love is enough, his sanctuary is safe. His rock is solid, and He will Never leave. Why is it so easy to say but so hard to put into practice? Why is it so easy for idols to slip into the quiet times with God? Why is it that when someone puts their arms around me it’s the illusive tall blond instead of my all-powerful God who has already proven himself as real? Why do I turn to fiction to satisfy my needs instead of real life? Maybe it’s because I would rather escape my problems then face them. For a few moments I forget that I am lonely and I’m somewhere else where nothing can ever harm me. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of being refined and tired of having hard times. I want life to be easy for once. But God doesn’t promise an easy life…
I can only look to the day when I will be in heaven and there will be no more pain, no more crying… but there doesn’t have to be pain and crying here. God offers sanctuary. peace. I just have to let him in. I can’t push him away anymore. It’s just so hard to trust when so many times before people have be untrustworthy. I need a sanctuary.