After I grew up, I went back to that farm. The trees seemed so small. I could not find my cave, only the spot where it had been. The memory of it makes me smile. How many children also construct hiding places? For me, there were no outside threats. I had good parents and although ill a few times, I had no reason to seek refuge. I simply wanted my own hiding place. Did I feel closer to God there? Is this desire simply part of the human psyche?
God knows that even adults often want to hide from the world. Threats, real or imagined, large or small, drive the human yearning for vacations and to feel like running away from home. A retreat or an escape is nice, but He offers something better . . .
Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. (Psalm 62:8)Because I trust Him and because I can pour out my heart to Him in total confidence that He hears and cares about me, God is also my refuge, even the best refuge. Being in His presence gives me a sense of security, a sense of safety. Others say that in the will of God there is no safer place.
I was reading Jeremiah this morning and noticed how God repeatedly said that if the people obeyed Him, He would bless them, but if they stepped outside His will, their lives would be filled with trouble. In this sense, God is also a refuge. While the world can dish out stress that makes me want to hide, I can also bring it on myself. Hiding in God, and seeking the center of His will, is a huge stress-buster. Obeying Him relieves stress.
Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). While He may have been talking to those burdened by trying earn God’s favor, this promise also applies to me when I take on too much, when the world throws too much at me, or when I am just worn out from the usual burdens of life.
The Lord is my resting place, my place to hide from it all, and my place to store all my treasures. Best of all, I will never outgrow my need for Him and He will never fade away or cease to be there for me. In Him, I am safe. I can trust Him at all times, talk to Him about anything, and enjoy His presence and protection forever. Selah!