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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thoughtful Thursday: When You need a Place to Hide

Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

They were 110 stories tall, yet the World Trade Center Towers came down in a cloud of dust.  Now as a result of a terrorist act, they are history, and our glass bubble of security in the US has been burst.  We feel vulnerable. 
People in many other parts of the world have lived this way all of their lives.  But for us, it is a new experience.  When the September 11th tragedy happened, I wanted to run and hide.  I wanted to find some safe place where I could go to process all that had taken place.

Let's bring this down to where we live:
We go to church.  We talk to our friends.  We go shopping.   We live our lives yet somehow something happens.

Something none of us expected.  
Our finances are dwindling and we don't have money to pay our bills.
One of our children gets sick.
Your husband comes home and tells you he doesn't love you anymore. 
Our best friend has been diagnosed with cancer.

How can this be?  How dare something like this invade my world. 
It shakes our own personal world because now it’s not two towers in a far away city like NY, it is our own backyard.

We want to run and hide.
When things get too big for us to handle we run and hide.

When you were little did you ever have a special spot where you could hide from the world?  Someplace where not even your parents or maybe even your best friend knew about?

Maybe it was just in your closet in your bedroom or maybe the basement of your house.
Or did you have a place like the top of an old oak tree like I did?
I loved to climb trees.  It made me feel like I could do anything.  Like i could conquer the world.  It was also a good place to hide.

Now when we were kids, we hid just because it was fun.  We would hurry off and keep looking behind us to make sure nobody is looking.  Then when we are out of view, we take off running full force to our favorite hiding place.

It's awful hard to run and hide when you get older.   I'm afraid now if I climbed a tree they would have to call the fire department to get me back down.  Wouldn't that be embarrassing?  Couldn't you just see the headlines now?
Woman, age 61, stuck up tree.
I can just see all my neighbors standing around watching.

We as women also have a 'hiding place' where we go.  This place is somewhere nobody can find you and nobody else can even go there.
It is your own wall of protection you build around yourself so no one can hurt you.  When I was just a girl, I started building this wall and so did all of you.  Piece by piece, brick by brick, we build it good and solid and we hide behind it.

When life gets to be too much to handle, we run there.  Nobody else can see it but they can feel it.  They can feel the distance you have put between you and them.

This place is always there just like your own personal sanctuary.  It is the place where troubles don't exist because you don't think about them. 
Nobody gets sick
Nobody dies
Nobody talks ugly to you
Nothing can harm you
Everything there is perfect just the way you want it to be.

Sounds good, doesn't it?  Are you ready to go there right now?  Do you know of such a place?

This place is a place to run and hide but it is also a very lonely place.  If you don't let anyone in then you are all by yourself.  Does this solve any problems?  Does this make anyone less sick?  Does it help your bank account? 

When you lock yourself up inside away from others, the problem you are running from still exists.  No matter how much you just try to forget it and shut yourself up away from it, the problem is still there and you have to deal with it sooner or later.

The Bible tells us about a hiding place.  In fact, the scriptures offer us many word pictures of absolute safety. 
5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

pavilion--Strong's H5520 hut; also a lair; covert, den, tabernacle.
Webster's covert--hidden or disguised; protected place as for game;

H168 Tabernacle--tent; covering; dwelling place; home;

H6697 Rock--a cliff; boulder; refuge; mighty God one; strength

So he gives us 3 different hiding places in this one verse. pavilion; tabernacle; rock

We're all painfully aware now that no towers built by human beings are strong enough to assure protection.  Yet sometimes I still run to towers of my own building, thinking I will find safety there.  Sometimes I run to my own "intelligent" decisions, believing that my analysis of the situation is best. Other times I run to the tower of human relationships, talking things over with a trusted friend and accepting his or her 'take' on the situation rather than turning to the Lord.

When you're having problems what is the first thing you want to do?
Go tell somebody.

Other times I count on material help for protection, thinking money can take care of it.
If nothing else eases my fears then I run to the tower of my own shell, -retreating from the world around me because the world is too scary.

BUT:  the Bible gives us another alternative:
Proverbs 18:10 "The name of the LORD is a strong tower:  the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."

The name of the LORD is a strong tower
The name of the LORD
Just His name is enough to give us protection
It's his name that is a strong tower.

I noticed something quite unique about this verse:  Listen and see if you pick it up.
"The name of the LORD is a strong tower:  the righteous runneth into it, and is safe."
**Did you hear it?"
____The righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
Doesn't that sound like it is bad English?
You know what it is though?  He has taken it to a personal level. 
John 3:16 says "whosoever shall believe"
whosoever means anyone
___The righteous runneth into it, and is safe.
Not and are safe which sounds like it would be more appropriate, no, the righteous runneth into it and is safe. 
That means anyone, not just everyone, not the whole crowd, no, it means you and it means me.
The righteous runneth into it, (and who are the righteous)?
you and me and everyone who believes.
The righteous runneth into it, and IS safe.

 Gen 17:1 "I am the Almighty God;"
Exodus 3:13-15 "I AM THAT I AM"
Exodus 6:3 "by the name of God Almighty ...JEHOVAH"

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder;   and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Isaiah 57:15 "whose name is Holy"
Jeremiah 23:6 "THE Lord OUR RIGHTEouSNESS."

Revelation 1:8 "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."

**We think of the many people who lost their lives in the Twin Towers that day.  Where was God?  What kind of protection is a God who allowed so many people to die? 
Why did he allow my friend to get cancer?
Where was God when I was going through a divorce?

Proverbs 14:32 "The wicked is driven away in his wickedness:  but the righteous hath hope in his death."

**Even in death we can take refuge in God, for through Christ death is merely the event that brings us to the presence of the Father.
Death is not really the end, but the beginning of life (if you are a Christian). 
Need a place to hide when life overwhelms you?  Try the strong safe tower of the Lord!  It's a place of safety--in life or in death.

I'm going to leave you with one last verse:

The one verse I want to leave with you is one we must ponder on.
It's not one you can just read and say oh that was nice. 
No, it is one you have to read, then read it again, then read it again and keep on reading it until it gets down to the very core of your being.
"Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."
Be still, and know that I am God

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