Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Hiding Places

Psalm 91:1-2

As the world spins around us, we find there is no shortage of troubles.  They bring with them burdens to bear and trials to overcome.  Some can be trivial and easily fixed, but others can overwhelm us and cause us to wish there was a quiet and peaceful place to run to and hide where all the worries that surround us would disappear.

Elijah felt this type of panic as he ran from Jezebel and sat down under a broom tree, hoping to die (1Kings 19:1-5).  Even after begin re-strengthened by the bread and water prepared by God’s angel, Elijah responded by hiding in a cave, still in dread and hopelessness (1Kings 19:9).  He sought out a place to hide from Jezebel’s army, a place he felt at least offered a tiny bit of solace before he was killed.

The Apostles did the same thing when they ran and hid in their chambers following the Lord’s crucifixion (John 20:19).  Fear propelled them to seek a place of safety behind locked doors, thinking they would also die at the hands of the angry Jewish leaders who had just brutally murdered Jesus.

When tribulation comes upon us, we all want to run and hide our faces from it.  However, the problem we have is the same Elijah and the disciples had.  We choose the wrong hiding place.  Although we fail to remember this during a time of trouble, there are two options.  We can choose as they did to hide where it is not safe, or we can run into the arms of our God.  It is only under His wings that genuine peace and safety can be found (Psalm 17:8).  His desire is to gather all His children “as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings” when trouble assails us (Luke 13:34).  The problem is revealed in the conclusion of our Lord’s lament:  “but [we are] not willing”.

Our first instinct is to flee from danger and it is usually in the opposite direction from the only One Who is able to offer us protection.  We force God to pursue us until He is able to make it clear to us that there is a better place to hide: with Him.  It is there in the “shadow of the Almighty” where true “refuge” awaits.  He is a mighty, impenetrable “fortress” of safety.  And once we choose Him as our hiding place, absolutely nothing can touch or harm us.

If we will trust God and eat and drink from the Bread He has prepared and the Water He has poured out upon us, our strength will be renewed.  Peace from all that the world is able to bring will be restored, and we will know we have chosen the best of the two hiding places - “in the shelter of the Most High.”

Suggested reading:

  • Psalm 23
  • Psalm 27
  • All of Psalm 91

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