As soon as she learnt to walk, my younger daughter learnt to hide.
Blink and you’d miss her.
We’ve spent many a panicked moment in the park, the supermarket, museums. We’ve had most of a wedding party looking for her. She’s been found up trees, lying on supermarket shelves, inside laundry baskets, and wardrobes. She thinks it’s hilarious and still now at 5, she’ll jump out with a ‘Boo’ and wonder what all the fuss is about.
Unless of course, she’s hiding to avoid doing something she’s been asked or avoid being told off. As I was putting her to bed the other night she noticed I’d spotted the her Pooh Bear teddy sporting some new eyelashes lovingly added with permanent black marker pen, and the equally permanent doodles over her desk, bed, and yes the wall. Already in bed and with nowhere to run and hide, she immediately pulled her duvet up over her head.
Usually she hides from me playing or avoiding an inevitable telling off. But recently, there have been some precious moments of coming to me to hide, of seeking me as her hiding place. Playing chase with her older sister, she’ll run towards me, screaming ‘Mummy’s base’ and hide under my jumper or cling on and hide behind my legs. ‘You can’t get me’. Hiding for safety, hiding in relief and confidence.
And that is where our very lives are placed, in hidden protected, safe refuge in God:
Your life is hidden with Christ in God
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance
A dear friend pointed me to these verses this week. God is our hiding place. No longer, like Adam and Eve do we need hide away from him, in shame filled guilt ridden, rebellious alienation away from Him fearing the inevitable punishment. In Christ, he has brought us near, so near that He himself as become our very hiding place, the very place of our heart’s refuge. Safe, protected, in Christ no longer facing punishment but receiving grace and mercy, no longer alienated but children safe and hidden in our Father’s abiding presence.
God himself as your hiding place. As you shelter, grasp him, take refuge in Him, as you hide and entrust your deepest desires and fears to His protective refuge, as you feel the surrounding threats of doubt, fear, surrounding problems and pains closing in, then know his surrounding you, guarding you safe, keeping you hidden from attacks that threaten, as he surrounds you with shouts of deliverance.
When doubts creep in, hear him shout out ‘Nothing can separate from my love’
When guilt threatens, his cry :’There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus’
As persecution closes in, God declaring ‘I am working all things for the good of those who love me.’
As your faith feels a failure and falters, He surrounds you declaring, ‘A bruised reed I will not break, and a smoldering wick I will not quench.’
Faced with your failure in the battle against sin, his battle cry of ‘It is by grace you have been saved… it is my gift’
While your fear for others tempts you to break free from your hiding place and solve and save on your agenda, hear His deliverance cry declaring, ‘I am the Lord and there is no other.’
As the darkness and despair begins to cast shadows creeping ever nearer to your hiding place, hear your Saviour declare, ‘I am the light of the world’
My children may run intermittently to me, seeking me as their safe hiding place, but we have an abiding hiding place. Brought near by Jesus, brought so close to our heavenly Father that he declares himself our very hiding place. Held and hidden in Him.
Never called or asked to leave him to face the enemies surrounding, never called to go out and face the falleness of this world or the devil’s schemes by ourselves.
We only ever battle hidden with Christ in God, with His shouts of deliverance surrounding us as we wage the good warfare against sin, the world and the devil.
Only and always hidden with Christ in God.
Our hiding place until the day He brings us safely home. Where no doubt, despair, darkness or enemy will enter. When God’s shouts of deliverance we have heard all our earthly days will become our face-to-face worship of our Deliverer.