Run Like the Wind!
Meg Finds the Fortress -- the Conclusion to Refuge 91
(and yet...it's just the beginning)
by Lygia Lovelace
Meg woke peacefully. How long
had she been asleep? Alexander's lunch had made her full,
and sleepy. The sun on her back, and the comfort of the
blanket Alexander had given her had easily lulled her to
It looked like early evening.
She looked down at the black
Bible she held close to her heart -- her grandmother's Bible.
She had been afraid to let it go after Alexander had given
it to her.
Alexander…where was he? He
sure seemed to have his own way of coming and going…
called as she sat up. He didn't respond, and she didn't
see him anywhere.
Meg looked down and tenderly
opened her grandmother's Bible. Oh, the memories! She closed
her eyes, as if to see the thoughts unfolding before her…sitting
next to her grandmother in church, waking early in the morning,
only to find her grandmother bent over this very book…
"Grandma?!" Meg could
almost hear her own childish voice as she remembered running
to her grandmother's bedside in the middle of the night.
"Grandma, can I sleep
with you? I'm scared."
Grandma would smile and pull
back the blankets, inviting her in. Always, the black Bible
was next to her grandmother's pillow, as if she had gone
to sleep reading God's Word. Meg would gently place the
Bible under her own pillow.
It had been easy to follow
God -- to believe His Word -- around her grandmother. After
all, Grandma had believed so deeply!
Now…Meg struggled to believe!
Her own life was a mess, and her grandmother was gone. Meg
had no one.
Tears came freely as she lay
down on the blanket and put her head on her grandmother's
Bible. Why did Grandma have to die? Why couldn't she be
here now, to stroke Meg's hair, to pray for her…to tell
her that everything would be fine?
Meg suddenly felt a raindrop
sting her cheek. A storm seemed to be brewing in the Most
High dwelling. Dark clouds were moving in…the wind was blowing
fiercely. She looked up at a young tree, just above her
own tent, struggling as it bent in the wind. What was it
Grandma used to say…
If there were no wind, the
young tree would not develop strength…
Well she certainly felt like
that young tree -- challenged -- bent over with depression.
But the winds of life were about to destroy her. She just
didn't think she could make it any longer. If her Grandma
only knew what her life was like now…
As she felt her spirits sinking,
she heard a rustling in the grass. Without warning, a fierce,
angry lion sprang from the bushes just in front of her!
He would have devoured Meg immediately had she not rolled
over, taking her grandmother's Bible with her. She sprang
to her feet, only to look behind her and see the lion lunging
in her direction!
Her thoughts flew to Alexander…where
was her protector!?
That's when she ran like the
wind. And she looked ahead of her -- away from her own problems…
As a mirage before her stood
a tall fortress -- inviting, protecting, open wide for her
Why had she never seen that
before? It was so big, so obvious, so available!
Meg wasn't sure she would make
it to the tower. But she had to try! She could feel the
hot breath of the lion, warm and threatening against the
back of her neck.
She ran with speed she didn't
even know she had.
She reached the fortress just
in time. How had she made it?! The lion was only just behind
her as she slammed the heavy iron door shut and pushed against
She burst into tears as both
fear escaped her and relief consumed her...
My friend, have you found the
tower -- that fortress God provides for you in the wilderness,
amidst the dangers of despair and hopelessness? It's there
for you, just waiting. So many of us struggle with depression,
with worry, with emotion, but few look up, and away,
to find the rampart that preserves our joy, and our closeness
to the Father.
It took me awhile to find that
fortress…though indeed it was right in front me. As I wandered
around in the injustices of life, the frequencies of hard
times -- I never thought to look up, to ask for help.
But this time, I remembered.
This time, I knew that Satan
would seek to devour me. He's right there, waiting to pounce
on you -- did you know that? The enemy's mission in your
life is to steal your joy…to kill your hope…and to destroy
your relationship with the Father of lights.
Just a few days ago -- as the
lion was there, threatening to pounce on me, I took my grandmother's
Bible from the shelf. I hadn't looked at it in awhile. It's
so old, and so well-used, that the pages are brown and withered,
and the cover crumbles with just a simple touch.
Memories of my grandmother
flooded my mind as I turned page after page of her precious
book -- the fortress she ran to during her hard times --
the trials and disappointments of life, the death of her
parents, the death of her husband, the death of her son,
the coldness of living alone, and then growing too old…
I remembered then, as a child,
watching her as for hour upon hour she would bend over this
book, magnifying glass in hand, reading -- whispering to
herself, the words on these pages.
Her eyes were dim with age,
but the strength of her life was as a young tree -- accepting
the winds of life, bending, yet thriving.
At the very back of her Bible,
scrawled in my grandmother's own hand, I found…
If there were no wind,
the young tree would not develop strength.
If there were no danger,
there would be no heroism.
If there were no testing,
there could be no character.
If there were no enticement
to wrong, there would be no virtue in right.
…no one becomes a truly
great Christian without great testing…
As Meg climbed the stairs to
the tower, grandmother's Bible in hand, she smiled to herself.
Such peace, such strength
in this place, she thought to herself.
At the top of the tower, gazing
from the window into the world, was Alexander, humming that
same favorite hymn of her grandma's. He turned and smiled
at her as she discovered him there.
"Have you been here all
along?!" she asked, thinking of her narrow escape.
Alexander chuckled to himself,
"That was quite an escape!
You are learning to run like the wind!"
Meg laughed out loud. She looked
around and found a comfortable chair, high in the tower.
She sat down peacefully. A storm was raging outside, but
there was deep joy inside -- in her heart. And the Word
was in her hand.
No, the problems of her life
were not solved. But they were no longer hers. Now they
belonged to the Father.
In exchange, He gave her the
comfort of the Word…the Peace that passes all understanding.
Have you learned to run like
the wind? When depression hits -- when worry overcomes --
when the lion -- the enemy -- seeks to devour all
that is good in your life…
Grab the Word! Choose the Most
High as your dwelling, and find His rest there -- His protection,
Give up what hinders you
-- the problems, the injustices, the loneliness, the uncertainties…
And run like the wind.
© 2010. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights