You are my hiding place...
"You are my hiding place; you will save me from trouble. I sing aloud of your salvation, because you protect me." (Psalm 32:7)
A few weeks ago our neighbors went away on vacation so their grass grew a little taller than normal. When they returned and mowed the front lawn they discovered a mother rabbit had used their absence and tall grass as an opportunity to build a nest in a small hollow. Fortunately the hollow was deep enough that the baby rabbits were exposed but not harmed by the mower. A few days later the mother rabbit moved her babies to a new location.
Isn't it amazing that most mammals are born in a state of "almost ready?" It's really another example of God's attention to detail in the divine plan for life. That time between birth and leaving the nest is an important opportunity for physical, mental, social, (and for humans, spiritual) maturation. There is lots to be learned that will contribute toward survival and success as adults in the world. Imagine what it would be like to be born into the world and instantly sent off on your own... Predators would certainly have a field day!
Humans have one of the (if not the) longest maturation periods of any mammal. During that time between birth and leaving the nest we are hopefully protected, nurtured, and educated. The time is almost like a cocoon or safety bubble in which many of our needs are supplied by nurturing others so we can focus on the learning and maturing that is necessary. How important it is that we provide our children this healthy time! If done properly, children realize that when trouble arises, they're not on their own. We're there to protect and support, to circle the herd if necessary and give them the comfort they need to learn and grow. This is a critical need for children, a need that if not supplied, can result in severe emotional crises.
Here's the kicker - as humans we never outgrow our need for a "hiding place." Aren't their times in your life when you just want to be able to hide from the world for a little while? The psalmist reminds us that God is our hiding place. It's not necessarily a physical place, although some would say that a house of worship can feel like a physical sanctuary from the cares of the world. More importantly, God's "hiding place" is a relationship, a relationship that allows us to share our sorrows, burdens, and cares with one we know understands and responds with a loving reminder that we are not alone. Unburdening one's self by sharing with an other can be a powerful experience that leaves one with a sense of having been momentarily in a "hiding place." That's exactly what God offers.
I am grateful that God is my hiding place. How about you?
Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia
Help save lives! For more information on my new book, "A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression," visit www.survivingteendepression.com.
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