In my town between the worlds of land and sea, there is a sanctuary—a marsh where fresh and salt water mingle to become a third world.
Emotionally speaking, when we exist between what we long for and what is not yet accomplished, we often live in a similar place. Our struggle to hang on to both worlds may be unnoticed by others, but it is very real. Places of illness, joblessness, childlessness are only a few of these sanctuaries.
There are three things worth noting about sanctuaries.
1. There is life in the sanctuary. Herons, gulls, spoonbills, butterflies, crabs, and grasses thrive in the sanctuary. Sometimes the marsh is the only place I will ever see their wonder. Perhaps they represent the inexplicable joys that can come in the midst of struggles.
2. There are companions in the marshy places. If I will look past my circumstances, I can see others walking in the sanctuary. Although my enemy would have me believe the illusion of loneliness, it is not my solitary world.
3. There is refuge in the sanctuary. It helps me to remember that the God of Land and Sea is also the God of the Marsh.
Psalm 119:28 describes a life in the marsh and a plea for help.
“My life dissolves and weeps itself away for heaviness; raise me up and strengthen me according to the promises of Your word.”
The words of Matthew 28:20b comforts us as they must have comforted Jesus’ disciples in His last moments on earth.
“Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
A glimpse of God’s strategy during our tough days is found in Old Testament stories, too.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” Isaiah 43:2
Finally, there is a powerful declaration about sanctuary in the words Jesus spoke about His death and resurrection. He IS the God OVER the sanctuary.
“Demolish this Sanctuary,” said Jesus, “and in three days I will rebuild it.” John 2:19
Are you living but not yet healed? Take courage. You’re in good company. There is a Sanctuary. His name is Jesus.