One the backside of my home we have a porch where we have hanging a number of inspirational signs and placards of wit and humor. It is a very peaceful place where we can hear the sound of water from the stream as we sit on porch swings or in a rocking chair. Although this is a great gathering place where we have had many conversations with friends, generally it is a place of quiet and refuge. There is one sign that really captures the essence of the porch: it says, “Sanctuary.”

The word sanctuary comes from the root word sanctify, which means to “set apart.” Typically something was set apart because it was holy, and thus the word “sanctuary” refers to a place that is set apart for holy or sacred purposes. For my wife and I our back porch is our personal sanctuary, that quiet place set apart where we typically go to read, pray, or oftentimes enjoy the peace and presence of God. It is a place of spiritual refreshment and rejuvenation. Many times I even find myself taking a short nap as I am lulled to sleep by the various sounds of God’s creatures.

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of life with all its distractions, pressures, and cares, we all need to take the time to find our personal sanctuary. My sanctuary never eliminates the cares of life, but it sure helps me approach them with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.