When I was a kid, there was a place in the woods on our acreage where the trees made a soft circle around a couple of large rocks flat enough to sit on. It felt like a room. I would go there to be by myself, hidden away from anyone else. I often sought out places like these in nature; hideaways, hideouts, secret places where I could talk to God. They were quiet and serene. They felt Holy. These were special places where I knew God would meet with me.
I see now that the Lord was teaching me how to go to Him, even in simple ways like finding secret places in the woods. It’s like He put a sticky note on my soul that said, “Remember this…meet Me back here when you’re ready.”
What does it mean to have the Lord as a hiding place?
Ironically, it is first to feel very exposed, completely open in a negative way, susceptible to attack or infiltration, stripped, unable to protect yourself. Vulnerable, fragile. These are things we have all felt in various degrees.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!’ Psalm 91: 1-2
This is a very comforting verse but where is the practical application? Is poetry really that helpful when we could use something more tangible?
When we are vulnerable or under attack, the natural thing is to look for cover, defense, protection. Or fight back.
Having the Lord as my hiding place means abandoning my own defenses, and declaring, even in a whisper, “The Lord is my defense.” It’s not the strength or volume of the declaration, as if I am trying to convince myself. It is the will and the trust and the upward glance behind it that cuts through the noise and forces my declaration to the Lord’s ear. It is precious to Him.
I like to believe that He answers weak prayers, first.
It really is a place. This is something we need to have revelation of. I weathered too many battles exposed, not retreating to the Shadow, but fighting without a weapon, and devising my own tissue paper shelters.
For some it might seem like going to a “hiding place” is a silly metaphor for someone not willing to deal with reality. There is a difference between hiding from reality and hiding in the Shadow. Going to the Shadow is different because when you first run there, you really have no idea if the Psalm 91 promise is real. What also happens is that all other known routes to safety are mysteriously and systematically cut off. It feels risky. It is an unknown, and most of us prefer the known to the Unknown. Once we are there, Reality dwarfs our perception of the danger we run from and we can’t imagine being in a safer place.
If we are trusting in Him, His own reputation is on the line and He doesn’t let it slip for a minute. When we are double minded, unsure if He is there, and not totally willing to believe that He will answer when we call, we are again exposed and out of His shelter. He cannot answer double-minded prayers, because we are not even sure what we are asking for.
Watching the strength of the Lord move on our behalf is a mighty sight to behold. It is personal. It is strength defined by pursuit, purpose, and redemption.
Thankful for His protection, His shelter, and covering….