Hiding places – we all need them. We have been taught as children, that we need to hide in the basement when a tornado approaches, to try and protect ourselves from its destructive power. Those terrified of public speaking will do anything to avoid being chosen to do so. They will hide themselves, protect themselves from it by saying they are better at doing behind the scenes work .
As a child I would lie about having taken my cod liver oil, but the hiding place of my lie would always be discovered by my mother. “Yes, mom, I’ve taken my cod liver oil.” She would look at me with those beautiful eyes that penetrated to my soul and say, “Nice try, Kevin.” She would already have the cod liver oil in her hands. Alas, there was no place to run away and hide. I submitted myself to the impending torture of that horrible-tasting cod liver oil. And I still say, “Yuch!” when I think about that dreadful experience.
The Psalmist David recognized he needed a hiding place as he poured his heart out to God. He was worn, exhausted and afraid. The well-trained army of King Saul was after him, because in King Saul’s mind, he saw David as a threat to take over his throne as king of Israel. With fear and terror in his heart David calls out to God saying, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance”(Psalm32:7, New International Version).
Our home is our hiding place. It is here that our Lord gives us some sanctuary from the outside world filled with its stressors and aggravations. How many of us have those days when we want to stay home and have a respite from the deadlines and all of life’s demands? We long for a break dealing with people who irritate us, who we would far prefer to avoid. However, eventually we must come out of our hiding place to face and deal with them.
I’m sure the Filipino people caught in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan could use a hiding place. I was moved to tears when a Filipino man cried as he showed the world the great sadness and desperation within him on the TV news. “Please, we need help! Please help us! Oh, please help us!!”
I wanted to sit with that man and listen to his pain, to ease his soul-crushing fear. Yet, for God’s reasons He has me here reaching out to the hurting, wounded and terrified souls all over the world and to the Filipino people both here in North America and across the 8,031 miles from our home in Englehart, to the horrendous suffering and disease in the Philippines.
A trusted source told me his grandfather put his bed by a mango tree to give him some form of a shelter. What moved me is the grandfather’s thankfulness that there is a mango tree. Think for a moment. He is elated that there is a mango tree. I felt convicted in my spirit for all the times I have complained about what I don’t have. Situations like these give us pause to be thankful that we have the sanctuary of our homes, our hiding places.
What are you afraid of? What keeps you awake at night? What are you hiding from? These are questions I leave us all to think about.
God’s peace and comfort be with you.