“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him” (Ps. 37:39-40).
One case stands out in my memory from the years when I practiced as a medical professional:
A woman came in for anxiety therapy due to her fear of rabbits. She was so afraid of rabbits that so much as a picture of a bunny would make her cringe against a wall.
However, after gradual desensitizing, she was able to hold a baby bunny in her arms. Part of her success story involved learning to put her terror in the Lord’s hands. The prescription in Philippines 4:6-7 became a friend to her. She learned to stop being anxious by following the very specific prescription given in these verses. “Do not be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I would like to make a few comments about the Christian and fear: Each person today, young or old, is living in a threatening environment. As a threat grows, one is prompted either to attack or run away and hide. A person can’t run fast enough or far enough to escape all threats.
For most folks, driving on a freeway at 70 miles per hour (with a foot between ourselves and the other cars that constantly are correcting) is a study in human adaptability and a desensitization that is a part of daily life. Usually, split-second adjustments and close calls are part of life and not consciously considered. The subconscious is another matter as accumulation of buried anxiety can produce a delayed stress syndrome that can relate to blood pressure. Life, job-related pressures, and pace of life are key to understanding why it seems to take two weeks (at least) of vacation to start feeling relaxed and free inside.
It appears the dinosaurs were killed off by the lack of light due to plume clouds, so the lack of light seriously affects us today with its fearful threatening dark clouds.
There is a growing dark cloud over mankind’s heart. Deep concern comes to a heart when it comes to understand that little ones in Africa are dying by the thousands due to lack of water, food and medicine. They often are left beside the road. In the growing dark of beheadings, the killing of anyone who doesn’t belong to a certain religion, water wars, etc., where are we to hide?
In darkness, mold grows. Our present worldwide darkness is much like mold hiding in the walls of a home, growing and then invading our lungs. Soon we can’t take a clean breath. Moral molds have been hiding in the walls of America’s mansion for many years and now are breaking out so obviously that they can’t be ignored any longer. We can only hope and pray this mold condition won’t get so bad that the Builder will have to tear down the whole building.
The history of mankind has been a history of “Hide and Seek.” When we were in Australia, several years ago, our guide told us that it was best to be back inside when the sun went down, because that’s “when all the creatures come out and begin eating each other.” The outback creatures were playing “Hide and Seek” with survival as the prize. So do you and I each day.
The sun is going down over America. What was forbidden a few years ago, now is accepted and defended in spite of God’s manual for how to live (the Bible) saying these things are abominations, unnatural and sinful in passages such as Romans 1.
Where is safety to be found? Certainly safety is not to be found in the temporary rhythms that control this world. Everything on Earth comes and goes in cycles. Mountains rise and fall. Self-improvement projects such as cosmetic surgery is similar to fixing the exterior of a house with termites and rats in the walls. Of course, a poor woman whose face was bitten off by a monkey not too long ago and other health-related surgeries are not vain exercises.
Cycling from youth into mature adulthood can be done with wisdom. However, this cycling never should become a fort to us, where we attempt to hide inside. Our plumbing and wiring continue to age inside the walls of our earthen vessels. Mirrors can deceive. Each of us is on a one-way journey that always ends.
Safety is found anytime it is needed by hiding under the wings of Almighty God. “He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge” (Ps. 91:4). What a picture of warmth and protection we find in His availability and commitment to us. Only the Holy Spirit can bring the comfort and security we need. Only the Spirit of God was given by the Father and the Son to comfort us with peace that has an eternal quality (John 16: 26; 14:26-27).
Today’s verses tell us where we are to hide. Safety is found in a relationship with the One who controls life, the Creator. He controls life, the environment and the forces of nature. When we are told: “The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord: He is their stronghold in time of trouble…because they take refuge in Him,” we have found where we are to hide: in Him.
Safety comes from a personal relationship with God Almighty through His Son, whom He sent to make a way through His death, burial and resurrection, which is the payment for each person’s sins. Full-hearted belief in Jesus and what He has done is how a person can have a personal relationship with God and find security and a place to hide.
The gospel of salvation is the gate into safety that is guarded by the Good Shepherd whose rod and staff comforts His fearful sheep.
“Finding the Place Where I Should Hide”©
Taking refuge in Jesus, I find peace.
I become a little child whose trust is near.
He stands between me and what I fear.
Taking refuge in Jesus, I am safe.
I become calm; I’m now found.
He holds me above shifting ground.
Taking refuge in Jesus, I am strong.
I can raise my head and I can see.
He sets me free and abides with me.
Taking refuge in Jesus,
I have found where I should hide.
It’s the same place where I abide.