Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Hiding Place

I read and watch too many mysteries. This morning while getting ready for the day, this thought crossed my mind, Where would I hide if someone broke into my house? Since I was in the walk-in closet, I wondered if anyone would find me if I stood behind the longer garments in the closet? Soon after, I began my quiet time with the Lord and was directed by Ears from Harvested Sheaves to read this:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust” (Psalm 91:1-2).
Last night we talked with friends about how easily we are distracted from trusting God, how just the smallest thing can be a slippery slope. My response to that was, “God knows our hearts. If we truly want to follow Him, whenever we slide off the course, He will bring us back.”

If my over-imaginative thoughts about the best place to hide from danger were the beginnings of a slide, God certainly proved true what I said as He reminds me today (almost humorously) about His protective care. Because I trust Him, I don’t need to think about hiding anywhere else. He is my refuge and He protects me from all harm.

Today’s devotional reading describes this trust by focusing on the idea of a “secret place,” a place known only to those whom God, “with His own mysterious hand, opens up . . . a part in it, sets them down in it, and sweetly blesses them in it.” It is a place of fellowship and communion with God, but even more, it is being hand in hand with Him, having my cares taken from me. It is being God’s child—secure in my Father’s arms.

This is the place where God opens up to me the riches of His grace and mercy, where He communicates to me His love, power and wisdom. It is called a “secret” place because it is known only to those whom God brings there through faith in Jesus Christ. No one can get in, or even want to be in this place, until they acknowledge their need of salvation. Then God Himself fills them with a desire to be close to Him.

When we trust the Lord, this secret place may not be obvious to others, but in it, nothing can touch us unless God allows it. His care is more secure than having body guards or a home alarm system. It is more secure than any of my own efforts to protect myself.

I was told about a girl who was raised in a Christian home but decided to run from faith and her family. Her parents tried but could not bring her back home. They began to pray.

This girl linked up with an older girl and the two of them began attending music concerts. They knew if they presented themselves backstage after the concert, they could become special to the entertainers, even become involved in illicit relationships with them.

So they tried, but the first time they went through a backstage door, a much older woman was blocking the way. They explained that they were ‘fans’ and asked if they could meet the musicians. This doorkeeper looked at them, then let the older one pass. With eyes full of fear, she said to the young girl, “No, you cannot go back there. You must go home.”

Not long after that, this girl did go home, much to the delight of her praying parents. When their daughter told them what had happened, they asked if the woman had given a reason for not allowing her backstage. She told them that the woman said, “I cannot let you pass for I see angels all around you.”

Without her knowing it, her loving parents prayed this daughter into a secret place of refuge and protection. God then revealed it to one person and that doorkeeper, tough as she was, knew that she could not let anything harm this girl.

This story encourages me to pray for spiritual protection for those who have strayed from faith and family. Yet the deeper longing of my heart is that they willingly seek that secret place themselves. From my own experience, it is great to be protected, even when I don’t realize it. Yet how much better to know without any doubt that I am in that place of refuge, that strong tower. Then I know that Almighty God is there with me, and even more, I know that my hiding place is not really a place but God Himself.

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