Finding Sanctuary

“If I had said, “I will speak thus,” Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children. When I thought how to understand this, It was too painful for me—Until I went into the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their end.”

More and more studies are coming out almost weekly regarding the impact Covid-19 and its variants are having on the mental health of people around the world. The stress from the stress and anxiety coupled with the loss of personal freedoms has taken its toll on the mental health of the much of the worlds population as our stress levels have been pushed well beyond their breaking point. That is except for one group. People of genuine faith have proven to rise above the storm much in the same way an airplane punches through the clouds and turbulence to the smooth skies above. What studies have shown is that with genuine faith comes genuine peace. The benefits of shared life in community with other believers in the sanctuary of God are clearly seen in the book of Acts when the church was birthed.

As the church gathers to worship God and to study His word together in His sanctuary our lives are reoriented and grounded in rock solid truth that transforms us. This world has a way of knocking us out of alignment much in the same way pot holes in the road do the steering of an automobile. What recent mental health studies have shown is that those who gather together for corporate worship are brought back into alignment and reoriented with their true north. In other words its the worship of God that sets our bearings straight.

The blessings of corporate worship in sanctuary are limitless and if there ever is a time where these truths become self evident its during a pandemic. With so many conflicting voices and differing opinions its both comforting and refreshing to be able to be reminded that in a world of constant change, there is something, there is someone who never changes. God is the same yesterday, today and forever and though one day heaven and earth will pass away, God’s Word will never pass away.

Psalm 73 is a great reminder to us that to be true to the world around us we can’t get caught up in the battle for the finite. If you want to lose your mind and lose your peace focus on current events which are here today and forgotten tomorrow. If on the other hand you want immediate as well as lasting peace and happiness, make your way in the sanctuary, find a church you can go to where you can learn the art of worship where you get your eyes off yourself and your circumstances and learn how to focus your whole life on the infinite, on God, and His glory.

The psalmist understood that the entering the sanctuary for the express purpose of worshiping God unites us at a fixed point. The church in many ways is the designated place of meeting in the event of an emergency. Just like a family will designate a specific spot to meet in the event of a fire or earthquake, the church is God’s chosen location for believers to gather and regather as often as possible knowing life seeks to pull us in all kinds of directions. Church is not only the place where believers regather after an emergency, the church is the place God has directed His children to gather to celebrate Him. Nothing compares to being there.

We have learned over the past two years now that a drive by birthday party, graduation or anniversary celebration falls short in satisfying the longing of our souls for human touch and our need for fellowship. A thousand face time gatherings can’t come close to the embrace of someone you love. The incarnation of Jesus proves this out as the apostle John would declare, “and we beheld the glory of the only begotten of the Father.” For John, nothing could compare to seeing Jesus face to face and being able to talk with Him and touch Him, to find comfort as he laid his head on the chest of God as they sat together. John understood that our sanctuary is Jesus.

The next time you find yourself getting anxious about this life, or frustrated by the injustices you see taking place around you, don’t try to make sense of the senseless but instead say, “take me to church” where you can seek refuge in the sanctuary, in the presence of the Lord. Find a church where you can be reoriented with your one true north so that you too can say like King David in Psalm 122:1…

“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the LORD.”


Michael Osthimer





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