Upon your spirit? Upon your relationship with your spouse? Upon that reoccurring desire to escape it all?
Recently I was on the phone with a friend who spoke about his dying marriage. Rarely are harsh words uttered between them. The family functions with clock-like efficiency. But slowly, almost imperceptibly, he and his wife are moving emotionally into separate orbits. The gentle touch, the tender word…the lingering together over coffee. Gone. Rarely do they find (or make) time to be together without the kids. And when they do, they seem to have nothing to talk about. Underneath, he finds a smoldering resentment building as he asks himself, “What is the purpose of it all? Will it ever end?
Then there is the incessant complexity of juggling finances. The unending encroachment upon his time. The unrealistic job demands. How, he asked me, does a person resolve the issue of forever giving out while receiving little back in the way of affirmation or appreciation? Especially from those closest to him? So what is the answer? Does he simply continue to grind it out? How does he handle his anger and resentment, as he finds himself continuing to withdraw emotionally? Is the answer to follow his impulses and leave? Hardly.
There is a better way that can strike at the very core of the issue. A way that will move him from the coping level, to gaining the necessary inner strength and godly wisdom to deal victoriously with these vexing challenges. For starters, I wondered if he had discovered how to allow Jesus to become his ‘Hiding Place?”
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance…You died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God…” (Psa. 32:7; Col. 3:3)
Jesus, in his preparation to face the crushing experience of the cross, hid himself alone with his Father – an experience of intimacy that saw him through to ultimate victory. (Matt. 26:36-46; Lk. 22:40-46) Today the Savior avails himself to us as our “Hiding Place” in enabling us to also deal victoriously with life’s formidable tasks,
“…How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings…God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” (Matt. 23:37b; Psa. 46:1,2) (See Psa.17:8; 18:2; 27:5; 31:20; 46:1,2; 57:1; 143:9; Matt.14:13,23; Mk. 1:35; Lk. 5;15,16; Jn .6:15)
Tragically, it seems that most us run to him as a convenient source of last resort – only after every other avenue has been explored and found wanting (counselors, friends, escape into work, self-help books, entertainment, alcohol, drugs, sex, et al). (See 2 Chron. 36:15,16; Psa. 81:10-12; Jer.11:7,8;25:3-7)
It is his intention that we experience him as our “Hiding Place” amidst the daily cacophony of demands. To help us toward developing that level of intimacy, let me ask you a question: When was the last time you, with your Bible in hand, disappeared to a private “hiding place” to encounter Him? Encounter Him until all sin was rooted out, confessed, forgiven and relinquished? Encounter Him until the Spirit calmed you down, and filled you up? Encounter Him until the Father reassured you from His Word of His love, and gave you promises and direction for your life and family?
QUESTION: So…when is your hideaway with God planned?
My prayer is that you are having a great week!