“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.” Psalm 32:7
From my childhood and years after, I have clung to this scripture as a sweet and constant source of strength and fortitude.
Most of the suffering in life that I have endured has been from childhood trauma, disappointments, and setbacks. I have never experienced hunger, discrimination, lack of shelter or warmth, and most of all war. Compared to most of the world, I have been exceedingly blessed. For that I am responsible to be generous to others. The scripture is clear on this… “To whom much is given, much is required.”
Therefore I have endeavored to create a lifestyle that is giving in word and deed. I have found that words of encouragement are just as valuable as meeting people‘s actual physical needs at times. I love to encourage those that feel hopeless. A timely good word can save a life!
In our early marriage, we took in two refugees from Romania into our home and life. Both lived with us at different intervals for a period of time, until they got on their feet. This act changed our lives forever (and theirs), and I can’t say that every day was easy. We had many challenging situations with strangers in our home. In time, however, these became like family.
This experience has opened our eyes to the needs of refugees. Everyday I am watching the news and hearing that the refugee number from the war in Ukraine has risen to the millions. I’m blinking in disbelief as I see the horrors displayed before my eyes. This is death and destruction that is completely unjustified which makes it more horrific and harder to handle. Our hearts are moved for the refugees. Our hearts are equally moved by the generosity of Americans and many nations to assist as broken people begin to re-plant and rebuild their lives.
Some days the pain is just too much. I have to turn the TV off. Everything I’m doing seems to have a shadow cast over it because of the sorrow of war. Still I must remain faithful and continue to live life to the fullest. I believe that joy in life that comes from God is the best resistance to the hard knocks of life and especially to the horrors of war.
Life often reduces us to dark and narrow places. That is how I feel now—that I am living in the cave of the nightmare of war. I hate that it’s dark. I hate that it’s narrow and confining. I hate that it’s going on and on and the death toll is rising.
I still know that God is faithful and good amidst this. I also know that my frustration is nothing compared to the irrevocable changes of those refugees who are seeking new life and comfort against their will. I pray that they will find in reality that God is offering a hiding place.
This truth is a concrete comfort and solace to every person that will receive protection, strength, and comfort from that hiding place. In truth, the dark, narrow spaces grow bigger and my heart becomes enlarged as I begin to see circumstances from the eyes of heaven. Today I am entering into the hiding place, and I am leaving the suffering there. I am asking God to bring justice and peace and resolve. I am asking him to rise up as a mighty warrior that heralds truth and victory.
The hiding place is not provided to hide from the reality or my responsibility during this time of war, but to pray and to plan to send aid. It is a place to lay my burden down and find relief from the suffering so that I can go back out and do my share. It is a place to offer a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving that God is still in control and will make things right. This bring me ultimate peace. I am so grateful for the hiding place. It is just the sweetest place on earth.
“For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.” Psalm 27:5
“You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.”Psalm 31:20
“God is to us a God of deliverances;
And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.” Psalm 60:28
“For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.” Psalm61:3