“You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
—Psalm 32:7 (NIV)
Remember the old airline commercial that asked, “Wanna get away?” It has been rolling around my mind lately. For all the obvious reasons, too.
Life gets hairy.
Circumstances pile up.
The usual relief valves stop working.
And the natural response becomes—RUN AND HIDE!
You may be more mature than I am (most people are), but I think we all have felt this way from time to time. So I’m not ashamed to admit it: I want to hide, and I don’t want to come out again until it’s blue skies and happy feelings.
Well, good luck with that, right?
“In this world you will have troubles,” Jesus told his disciples (John 16:33).
Here’s a man who knew troubles, but more than that—He knew the future.
He knew our future and our future troubles. But more than that. He knew the purpose of troubles (growth) and how it all fit in with His Father’s will.
But even more than that.
He knew the temporary nature of our troubles, how we would receive comfort during our troubles, and the blessed outcome for those who persevere.
It’s good to know someone who knows, isn’t it?
Just last week I tried to escape my problems (if only for a few hours), and God promptly put me face-to-face with another person engaged in the same struggle. So we ended up talking about—what else? The very thing I was trying to avoid!
God clearly sent the message: You’re not going to run from this. You’re going to run to Me with this.
Then, in case I still had doubts, the minister mysteriously delivered a message on how God doesn’t want us to escape our problems, but instead look to Him and be overcomers in Christ. By His strength and by His wisdom.
Maybe skywriting is next, I thought.
So, hey! I couldn’t escape the situation physically, but that rarely solves our problems anyway. It only gives temporary amnesia. Life always returns, and with it…problems. People with problems. Relationships with problems. Jobs with problems. And like I said, these things pile up.
How to “get away” without leaving home?
In Psalm 32, David tells us: we escape by spending time with the Lord. Verse 7 says, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
The Lord responds in the next verse, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you and watch over you.”
It’s true…God puts these messages right in our path, and He speaks through His Word, but we have to have spiritual discernment.
Keeping spiritual eyes open is a discipline I’m learning, and these three ideas may help you, too.
Prioritize: Decide in your heart that time with God will take precedence over other activities. We all have hundreds of choices to make each day. We must prioritize. What’s most important? Should I worry about dust accumulating in my house or try to discern God’s Word by studying it? Should I engage in fruitless grumbling with a non-believer or keep a prayer journal recording God’s faithfulness? What’s going to net eternal rewards and peace of mind right now? What pleases God?
Plan: Once you’ve resolved to make time with God a must, set a few goals to keep you moving along. Join a small group or attend a mid-week service that you normally wouldn’t. Set a reading plan. Finish a book long ago started and glean what you can from the message. Write out what you’re learning for future reference about God’s work in your life.
Persevere: Life is not a science; it’s an art! Practicing flexibility without self-incrimination when plans fall through is the key to persevering. Jump back on track by talking with God, confessing your shortcomings, and taking the next right step.
Let Him be your hiding place in difficult circumstances. Our God delights in this and promises to make His strength perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
As a result, I’m learning to hide while staying in plain sight. How about you?
“You are my hiding place;