Thursday, March 19, 2015

When You Need to Hide

I grew up under the shadow of a great mountain. Rocky crags and moss-covered cliffs rose like watchful protectors above our small community, and I ran to them for the shelter I could not find in the walls of my childhood home.

My favorite place was a hiding place. Far up the mountain amidst tall, ancient oaks stood a rock face that emerged boldly from the earth, a God-built fortress beckoning me to explore, to find safety in its ramparts. 

I don’t remember the day I discovered the cleft in the rock. It seems to have always been there in my memory, and I can’t recall a time it was not my own refuge. I could just fit inside, with enough room to lean my back against one wall and rest my knees on the opposite. It was the ideal place to hide.

One day as I was exploring the mountain, a sudden storm came with high wind and heavy rain. I quickly climbed into my secret place and waited, watching with fascination the torrent outside. I was safe and dry while the world turned sideways.

When the anger was too much in our house I would climb the distance to my hiding place and tuck myself into the quiet until my heart stilled again. When I was afraid, I would run to the rock and find strength in its solid silence. Some of my earliest conversations with God happened in the cleft of that rock. 

As an adult I have often longed for the safety of that cleft. Its strong image in my memory has stayed me many times during my journey to wholeness and healing. As I have gazed back over the landscape of my life, my childhood hiding place stands like a promise, a memorial to God’s faithfulness to a wounded and frightened little girl.

Though I have since grown up, my default reaction to adversity even today is to run away, to hide. It was so easy to climb inside my fortress on that mountain long ago.

We all have moments when we need to hide.

I have come to understand that though I can no longer run to my mountain refuge, there is yet a cleft in the rock made just for me. It is a sure hiding place, a safe refuge where my heart is quieted and settled. 

You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall and like the heat of the desert. -Isaiah 25:4

I now have an even greater Rock than the towering mountain on which to stand. This Rock is my Lord, and my God. And He is constant; a shelter from the storms and a shade from the heat, any time of day or night. 

Then the Lord said, There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.” Exodus 33:21

God has prepared a hiding place for us.

Our Rock is a place chosen for us, a place near the Lord. A place right by Him, appointed for our steadfastness and security.

For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock. Then my head will be high above my enemies around me; I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy. I will sing and make music to the Lord. -Psalm 27:5-6

This Rock is a hiding place, a shelter, the Lord’s own tabernacle. His presence protects us there. 

His way is in the whirlwind and the storm… Nahum 1:3

My Rock and your Rock is a place where hearts learn His secrets. It is in the cleft that we learn His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and our hearts are trained to look for Him above the noise and fear.

…the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
...It is I, do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:24, 27 

And our Rock is the place where Jesus comes to us in the darkness of our fears, when it feels like everything is against us, and whispers, “It is I, do not be afraid.”

If you are facing a storm today, run to the Rock. Hide yourself in the cleft and listen to the silence. Be stilled by His strength and be calmed by His presence. Trust Him, lie down, and rest. 

Though the world turn sideways outside your hiding place, you will find peace and safety for your soul.

What makes you want to hide today? Enter the conversation and encourage another.

TWEETABLES

We all have moments when we need to hide. God has prepared a hiding place just for you. (Click to Tweet)

If you are facing a storm today, run to the Rock. Hide yourself in the cleft and listen to the silence. (Click to Tweet)

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful picture of solace found in Christ alone. He is our safety and it feels so safe and snug to curl up in that cleft. May we always find easy access to that place of Peace and Refuge. Thanks for writing Danetta. I pray that all who read will be given a clean line of sight to their own Hiding Place.

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  2. Thank you dear Tarah. We have a sure safe place to tuck away, and for that I am so grateful.

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