“But the Lord is my fortress; my God is the mighty rock where I hide.”
I grew up in a neighborhood with lots of boys, and some of my favorite childhood memories were made playing hide and seek until it was too dark to seek. I had THE perfect hiding spot in the woods behind my Pap’s house – a grove of pine trees lined his property, and the canopies created by the interwoven branches created little “rooms”. I’d retreat to one of these rooms every single time we played hide and seek- it was my hiding place, and all of the boys knew it. I’d crouch down, waiting in anticipation for one of the boys to come near, rustle the bushes, and walk away, pretending like he didn’t know I was there. After he passed, I would run down the hill on the other side of the trees, take a shortcut through the woods, and beat the seeker back to base. It was an unspoken rule that I got to win, because I was the youngest. And the only girl. And maybe because of that one time that I cried and ran home when I lost.
Spiritual hide and seek is a lot like the game we played as kids, except what’s at stake isn’t your pride or the title of Hide and Seek Champion; it’s your joy. Like the boys in my story, Satan knows your hiding place and pursues you there. But he’s not going to pass you by and give you an easy win- he’s playing to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10) Satan knows that my hiding place is comfort. When I’m anxious, stressed, or facing hard things, I default to what is easy and safe to preserve my joy. But guess what? When my well of comfort runs out, so does my joy. I battle daily to escape my hiding place, because it’s where I can be a “safe Christian”. It’s where I can breathe, think, process and then decide whether my circumstances are worth feeling joy. But joy is not found in the circumstance (Jesus proved that when he willingly gave up his life on the cross – Hebrews 12:2); joy is found in the guaranteed outcome (“…you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” – Psalm 116:11)
So what is your hiding place? Is it self-pity? Negative thinking? Emotional eating? More importantly, what’s your plan to get from your hiding place to base and win the game? You can’t ask God to rescue you from the hiding place that you keep running to. I can’t ask God to use my life to glorify him, and then keep running back to what is safe and known when He starts to do a new work in me. I have to choose God to be my base, running from my hiding place of comfort in faith. (“Rescue me from my enemies, Lord; I run to you to hide me.” -Psalm 143:9)
It’s not about who you’re hiding from, but who you’re hiding in.”
Natalie Bright - StoneBridge Baptist Church - Worship Team Member