“In the Lord I take refuge; how can you say to my soul, ‘Flee like a bird to your mountain.” Psalm 11:1
Out of the corner of my eye, I see a deer standing at the edge of the road. In my head or maybe out loud, I yell, “Stay! Don’t run into the road!” I hold my breath and hope that he decides to stay on the side of the road and not run out into traffic. Even if there is a threat in the dunes, the bigger threat is in front of him on the highway.
Just like the deer, we have to make the decisions to stay or to go. These decisions aren’t easy ones. We are programmed to flee from danger so our flight reflex makes staying difficult. But sometimes staying is the easier choice but not the better one. So how do we know what to do?
I can’t answer that question. There isn’t a formula that points us in the right direction. I can read the Bible, prayer and seek the advice of others. But there isn’t a guarantee of safety in any of those. Where does our safety come from? It is neither in the staying or the going. Our safety comes as we seek refuge in God.
What is constant if we stay or if we go? God’s presence beside us. Psalm 73:22 states that even though I was a senseless brute, God’s response is to stay,
“Nevertheless, I am continually with You, You hold my right hand.” (Psalm 73:23; ESV)
Should I stay or should I go? It doesn’t matter when God is by my side.