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Chaplain’s Chat                      Rev. Dun Gordy

 

CITIZENS AND REFUGEES

Commander Binkley and I were joking about his recent trip to Birmingham as taking him and Commander Hurst back to The South.  Most of us who were raised on the red clay soil of Georgia, the green hills of Tennessee, the plains of Alabama or among the palms and pines of the Carolinas feel like we are several miles south of The South.  And with the invasion of the descendents of the Grand Army of the Republic into Florida, it is no wonder we often feel like refugees in our own land.

Many of us claim Psalm 91 as one of our favorites.  It is a song of comfort and assurance in troubled times.  It is a reminder of God’s grace and mercy.  It is a proclamation of God’s protection and provision for His own. 

Yet, one word in this verse that always sort of jumps out at me.   It is one of those words that bring comfort with a twinge of warning.  In the midst of praise to my God, it reminds me of something about myself that I often forget.  Something that I would like to forget.  It is in there two times, in verses 2 and 9.  It is the declaration that God is the source of my security.  He is my refuge. 

You see, the reason I need a refuge is because I am a refugee.  A displaced person.  A non-citizen.  I am in a place to which I do not belong because I am not in the place where my real citizenship is, where I am really at home.

They used to sing a hymn in church that I have not heard in a long time: This world is not my home, I’m just‘a passin’ through…” And it goes on to say “I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

I’m sure you have heard the old saying that someone is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good.  And maybe there is some truth in that.  But I am convinced that the opposite is an undeniably sad fact.  A Christian who is so caught up in the cares of this world and the temporal things of this life to the neglect of eternal values is missing the teaching of Scripture and I believe, the real meaning of life. 

Yes, Christians are refugees.  According to Philippians 3:20 our eternal citizenship is in heaven.  While here on this earth we want to be good citizens and enjoy all the rights and privileges that are ours.  And we want to faithfully execute all the responsibilities that are ours as well.  But let us not neglect the exercise of the rights, privileges and responsibilities that are involved in our eternal, heavenly citizenship. 

And let us not neglect to honor, reverence and praise our Refuge, our God.

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”  Psalm 91:2 

DUN