The Eagles recorded this song in 1975. It was written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, two members of the group at that time. It is reported that Henley and Frey concocted this story after witnessing what they perceived as a rendezvous between a man and a woman at an LA bar they frequented. They observed the meeting, watched the interaction between the two, and made up this song. It is the product of their vivid imaginations.
The song has one line that caught my attention recently. "I guess every point of refuge has its price." What do we take refuge in? What is the cost of our refuge of choice? Workaholism? Drugs? Alcohol? Shopping till dropping? Gambling? Food? Television? I think you get the picture. When we seek asylum or feel a sense of safety or security participating in any of these diversions, we eventually have to pay the piper. What suffers is our health, our relationships, our careers and/or our bank accounts. Some points of refuge are like poison pumping through our veins permeating every cell of our bodies. They can lead to physical and spiritual death.
In Psalm 46:1 it is written, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." God a refuge? But every point of refuge has its price! 2 Samuel 22:31 says, "As for God, his way is perfect: the Lord's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him." God wants me to take refuge in him? But every point of refuge has its price. When we take refuge in God there's a price to pay?
You better believe it! Jesus drove home this point time and time again. He told a rich man to sell all his possessions and give to the poor and follow him (Matthew 19:21). Another disciple wanted to go and bury his father before committing to follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24). Matthew again writes that Jesus warns that, "All men will hate you because of me." (Matthew 10:22) A final example is from Matthew (again) in Chapter 16, verse 24: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Every point of refuge has its price.
Yes! Obeying God and taking refuge in Him, costs the equivalent of a fortune. All my possessions, my familial relationships, denying what I want and sacrificing for His sake are big ticket items. But unlike other havens of toxicity, God is a point of refuge that gives us rest (Matthew 11:28), peace (John 14:27), hope (Jeremiah 29:11), salvation for mankind (Luke 3:6) and eternal life with Him (John 3:15). The thought of that infuses me with joy and imparts a peace and tranquility that surpasses all human understanding (Philippians 4:7).
Henley and Frey were right on target. Every point of refuge does has its price. At the end of the day it's our call. We can either withstand the consequences of toxic choices or stand steadfast in the life-giving promises of God. Some days doing so will be easier than others. It's all a matter of who or what we place our faith in. I'm inspired to speak the words of Peter, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." (Matthew 16:16). The price? Jesus paid it all.