“You are my hiding place;
You shall preserve me from trouble;
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah”
I was curled up in an almost fetal position with my paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon on the mammoth dog bed that is positioned under a super long table in my little New York City apartment whereby I can use the top of the table for storage for dog items since I don’t have any closets and next to which I keep a tall stool I found out on the street that is the perfect fit for my laptop so I can sit and write right by my sweet beloved doggies when I’m not writing on the little table by my bed which is also in close proximity to them. I couldn’t have imagined a better hiding place than that one. My sweet Mr. Simeon is so precious that a friend of mine and I have joked about essentially fighting over him to marry him if he were human. So there I was, at 50 years old, cuddled up with my dog on a dog bed under a table because for the few minutes I lay there it felt like such a perfect hiding place from the hurt I was enduring thanks to the recent betrayal of a couple of long-time beloved friends. I was tired from a night of tossing and turning, having woken up again and again with one of the women on my heart, for whom I prayed before I would drift back to sleep, and I felt worn down from the spiritual battle of it all. Sometimes when our hearts hurt, even as adults, we want nothing more nor less than to hide from the possibility of more hurts, and from feeling the hurt we already have, and from our normal responsibilities, because we’re tired, we’re worn out, we feel raw, and vulnerable, and we may be afraid, of what’s coming next, or not afraid but just like we’re running ragged, like, oh, no, I just need a break, I need to go somewhere safe, like a child running for safety, seeking a place to hide. Within minutes, however, the Spirit of God jolted me out of my hiding place, placing this message firmly upon my heart, and making it utterly clear I needed to leave behind my hiding place and my sweet beloved dog and get to my computer to share with you this message.
Sometimes we need a break, a nap, a day off, a vacation, and sometimes we need to find a place of relaxation and comfort, a spot where we can be refreshed, or a location to cry a few tears, or to join with a loving friend who will encourage us, and sometimes we can find some peace and quiet under the covers of our beds, for a few minutes anyway, to just get a break before we head back out onto the battlefield of life, and sometimes we need to just hide in the hug of a loved one, weeping on the person’s shoulder, and sometimes we need to hide in a journal, writing and pouring forth whatever it is we’re walking through, but none of these hiding places, nor any other hiding place we may find, not the okay and perfectly fine and safe and healthy hiding places, nor the totally unsafe hiding places like drunkenness, drugs, sexual sin, bulimia, adultery, porn, whatever it may be we run to thinking we’ll find comfort and hide away from the world, nothing in the way of human man-made hiding places compares with the most beautiful, most loving, most comforting, most healing, most wonderful, most light-filled, most compassionate, most forgiving, most merciful, most peaceful, most amazing hiding place of all.
The hiding place of the Lord Jesus Christ. Of turning off the world for a little while, turning off the noises and distractions, the chaos and challenges, the temptations and responsibilities, the commitments and the whatever else, and whomever else, and coming to the heart of God. To the arms of God. To the invitation of Christ Jesus. To come to Him and find rest in Him. To find all that we need in the way of the hiding place we need and seek. Jesus then becomes our hiding place. Our place of refuge. Our place where we can find healing and love beyond measure, where we can hear the voice of God speaking to our very beings, where we can open the pages of our Bibles and find God’s wisdom, God’s direction, where we can be led graciously by God to repentance for anything we need to seek forgiveness for and turn away from, where we can know that in Christ everything is okay and will be okay because no matter what happens in this life, when we believe in Christ as Lord and live for Him, faithfully following God and His ways, we know we are Jesus’ forever, right now in this moment, and forevermore.
There is no love like Jesus’.
There is no hope like in Christ.
There is no peace like His.
There is no mercy like His.
No comfort and compassion and understanding like God’s.
No wisdom like the Lord’s.
No rest like the rest He gives us.
No forgiveness like His.
No refreshing like the refreshing and rejuvenation and restoration and revitalizing He gives us.
No direction like the direction He gives us.
No hiding place like Christ. Like Jesus.
Sweet, blessed, beautiful, lovely, tender, strong, everlasting, Jesus.
We all have our times of curling up with paralyzed dogs on dog beds under tables, don’t we? Oh, sure, maybe the details are different for each of us. But we all have our little human places we go for a few moments peace and quiet. But ultimately they are only temporary, and the solace, the healing balm, the comfort, we may find there, it is small. In comparison anyway.
To the greatest and only everlasting hiding place in the universe.
The hiding place who is Christ.
There was nothing wrong with my little hiding place, not really. But it was the wrong hiding place in this respect.
What I need more than anything was, and is, time with blessed Jesus. The same is true for all of us, of that I am sure. I assure you.
In His presence. By His grace. In His awesome mercy.
Healing in His hands. Basking in His arms. Loved by His heart. Forever belonging.
My perfect hiding place.
Is He yours? Are you His?
Rest. In Him.
Hide. In Him.
Rejoice. Run to Him like a child seeking a hiding place. Seeking refuge.
Let Him be your refuge. Your hiding place.
Rest your heart in His hands.
And your mind in His hold.
Be His. Come to the hiding place who is Christ.