We call it Jump Creek — a thread of water nestling along rocky brush to a pebble-lined pool. At the end of the hike beside the creek, you’ll duck under a boulder and see the source. Stony walls guard a delicate waterfall from all sides. Last autumn, the shielded cove held a hush, a beauty in its hidenness. If you gazed at the unbroken foothilled horizon from afar, you’d never imagine the desert’s secret, cut into the canyon.
Perhaps Jump Creek once shielded someone running from danger. The clear water and rock-chilled shade maybe offered a respite for a moment.
Unlike King David, I’ve never needed to hide in a cave in serious fear for my life. There is a different hiding place I’ve craved. One that would cover what you could not see — my soul.
The immaterial in us doesn’t require something tangible like a waterfall’s chamber. Instead, our secret place is a Person. Simply abiding in His presence archives perfect escape. You remember the discomfort of crouching in a hide-and-seek spot, while your heart beat faster and you breathed louder, as the pursuer counted to ten and drew near? It’s not like being an anxious lump in the curtains as you listen to warnings and the discovering of other kids one by one.
Instead, while hiding here in Christ, you will hear sounds of deliverance. A song with a melody of triumph and a harmony of hope. You could search the earth over and never find the stillness and quietness that fills your soul in the presence of the One who can do all things well.
“You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
There is no need to strain for footsteps approaching in pitch darkness. No need to fret over the woes of the wicked and the sounds of deceptive threats from the Accuser. Tucked into this hiding place, you will hear sweet instruction. Direction, counsel, and love.
Trouble and bad news can plague our weary bones. But in the midst of evil, injustice, loss, persecution, temptation — our soul waits and rests in love and feasts on promises.
“The sorrows of the wicked are many,
But the one who trusts in the Lord, goodness will surround him.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.”
Yes, our flesh experiences the corruption of this world acutely. But our soul can never suffocate in prison. We will sing and worship in a hiding place. The soul can’t be destroyed by principalities and powers. “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3)
The Psalmist in chapter 11 stated the LORD was his refuge. But others advised, “Flee! Flee like a bird to your mountain.” They seemed to think a location change would be the key to avoid the arrows of the darkness.
Often we wanted to flee the physical pain, and escape our obstacles by spending time, money, and every human effort to cope. We indulge in the flesh to feel something physical, but this isn’t true secret refuge.
The refuge is the Lord. Not the absence or altering of a circumstance. Will we not flee to this permanent safety and forever joy?
“One who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty.”
When danger threatens, when heartache throbs, see how the shadow of the Almighty brings shade from the heat. How His shelter brings a bedrock dwelling of security and nourishment. When everything in you says FLEE, God says, “Rest here. Know my protection. My loving eye is on you. Hear my instruction and counsel.”
Therein lies the hope.
“You are my hiding place and my shield;
I wait for Your word.”
Will He not always shield us from all sides with His goodness? Hope waits for you to open God’s Word.
There is a place that is a Person — who serves as our covering, our shelter, our secrecy and protection. God’s enemies will not know how we are sustained by songs of deliverance. They can not understand how His words of instruction prompt deep, otherworldly hope. Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but those who are sheltering in the Most High will rejoice. He is the one fighting for us!