STRONGHOLD

Stronghold isn’t a word that’s in my everyday vocabulary, but it carries an immensity of meaning that lives up to its name.

The Round Tower at Windsor Castle, the Keep at Dover Castle, the huge walls of Caernarfon Castle… All those fortresses were built to keep people safe inside and keep unwelcome invaders out. That the castles still stand, hundreds of years after being built, is testament to their solidness, strategic position, and the vision and leadership of William the Conqueror and Edward I.

The dictionary defines a stronghold as a place that has been fortified to protect it against attack. True, but I like to think of it also as a place of sanctuary.

A friend was going through the pain of a terminal illness. She asked that part of Psalm 27 be read at her funeral service. This was her testimony, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”

A Christian rock group sang, “Oh Jesus, you’ve got a good strong hold on me.” Whatever a Christian believer’s circumstances, they can echo those words. God is a solid fortress that protects, and provides sanctuary, against whatever attacks – physical, mental, spiritual – come a believer’s way. He is a stronghold and he has a loving and strong hold on their life.

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