“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
Do you find yourself today wishing you could just run and hide? Are you looking for a safe place?
My beloved and I just took our first-ever trip to Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks. The views were amazing, with brilliant-colored strata along daunting cliff walls. I had no idea these places existed before we went.
As we hiked along dusty trails, I kept singing the lyrics from one of Fanny Crosby’s hymns: “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock that shadows a dry, thirsty land; He hideth my life in the depths of His love, and covers me there with His hand….”
Utah is indeed dry and thirsty right now, suffering through a lingering drought that has parched its land and creeks. Mini-sized dust devils flirted with us when winds came whistling along the trail corridors. The Virgin River creeps through the canyon, the only cool spot while current temperatures soar well above 100ºF.
And the rocks—giant boulders, sheer cliffs, arches, and “hoodoos” of eroded sandstone—kept reminding me of Scriptures about rock shelters. When Moses asked God to show him His glory, God knew Moses could not endure it. Instead, He promised to put Moses in “the cleft of the rock” and cover him with His hand while He passed by (Exodus 33:22)—a split place in the middle of rock walls where no harm would come to him.
Zion Canyon, originally tagged as Mukuntuweap (“straight canyon,” in Paiute language), was renamed in the late 1800s by Anglo-European settlers for its biblical resemblance to Jerusalem as God’s dwelling place. “Zion” was considered to be a fortress and refuge. I could see why it was an appropriate name, in light of the sheltering walls and profound strength of the mountain peaks. We saw lots of cleft rocks, overhangs, and tight spaces that would make for good hiding spots.
Sometimes, when life gets a bit too hard, we all feel like climbing under a rock to get away from everything. We need a place to hide, an escape from storms and trials. We want to feel safe.
King David had the same thoughts, many times, as foes assailed him from all directions. Many of his Psalms were desperate cries for help from his Maker, asking Him to be his Deliverer, his Rock, his Refuge. His Hiding Place.
Isaiah also described our God as “a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:2).
Likewise, Corrie ten Boom—whose Dutch family was sent to a Nazi concentration camp for helping Jews hide from persecution in World War II—found her refuge and strength in Jesus Christ. Her book title, The Hiding Place, reflected one of her favorite Bible verses: ‘You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word’ (Psalm 119:114). Corrie once asked her sister, Betsie, if they could ever feel safe again. Betsie, who would die just two days before liberation from their camp, replied, “The safest place in the world is to be in the center of God’s will.”*
When you need a hiding place, where do you go? For Christ-followers, the answer is not in a place. It is in the person of our Lord…the Son of God, the One who died for us and has carved a hiding place for us out of His Solid Rock. His loving Father covers us there with His hand. His Holy Spirit breathes peace into our hearts and comforts us in the darkness.
Our circumstances won’t change. The storms will continue to rage, the scorching arrows of Satan will continue to fly at us. The ground will still tremble beneath our feet, the clouds of despair will still gather overhead. But locked in the grip of His grace, sheltered behind His shield, protected from the winds of doubt, we can stand firm in hope. He will never abandon us. He will carry us through it all, leading us to the green pastures that await His faithful ones.
Hide in Him. He is seeking you.
Jesus, our Rock and Hiding Place, we praise You for being our refuge and strength. How we long for Your presence and protection as storm clouds gather. When disaster strikes, cover us with Your gentle hand and guide us to a safe haven. May we never forget how much You love us and care for us. In Your powerful and glorious name we pray, Amen.
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© Copyright 2021 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.