GOD: OUR HIDING PLACE
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: I will find my hiding place in God alone.
When I was growing up, there were times when I needed to get away and find some quiet from the fractured, dysfunction of my family. The place I went to, because I couldn’t drive then, was a very large, spreading deciduous tree in our front yard. The piney boughs created a protective covering and the thick branches formed a perfect “ladder” on which to climb to the top. I would perch in between two branches that formed a comfortable U, sitting and resting. It was the perfect hiding place.
Wanting to hide from pain and suffering is a normal human response. Our first instinct when we experience any kind uncomfortableness—whether it’s physical, emotional, or mental—is to flee, to get away from the source of the pain, if not the pain itself. For some, those “hiding places” become alcoholism or shopping, gambling or a drug addiction, workaholism or exercising to excess, overeating or undereating, or any myriad of guises. Anything to staunch the suffering.
Interestingly, God never said we could not or should not hide when we experience pain. It is a necessity, even, to take a respite, to withdrawal when we’re hurting or confused or struggling. God simply said we must choose wisely where we hide…and that hiding place should be in Him.
“You (God) are a hiding place for me; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with shouts of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7).
Here’s that verse with each bolded word translated from the original Hebrew, for better clarity: “You are my hiding place (refuge, way of escape). You preserve (guard) me from trouble (affliction, distress, crushing circumstances); You surround (encircle, encompass) me with songs of deliverance (rescue and redemption).
Isn’t that comforting?
Here’s another wonderful reminder of God as our hiding place: Psalm 91:4. “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”
Our hiding should not be in a place or a position or a posture, but in the Person and Presence of God our Father. Yet, all too often we tend to hide from God when we should be hiding in God. Like when I was a child and ran to that tree.
I don’t run to that tree anymore, though. First, because I no longer live at that house. Secondly, because that tree is now gone, cut down long ago.
I don’t need to run to that tree because I now run to God and find a protective covering in Him. Whereas that tree was temporary, God is a permanent presence of safety and security, a lasting refuge for my hurting heart. His enfolding wings are a place of quiet rest, where I am guarded lovingly, jealously, while I find healing, forgiveness, rescue, and redemption in times of distress and crushing circumstances.
I pray it is the same for you.
Rock of Ages, cleft for me / Let me hide myself in Thee.