Psalm 119:114 You are my refuge and my shield;
I have put my hope in your word.
“Refuge” isn’t inaccurate here, but I like the alternative term, “hiding place.” The world is a mess, and sometimes we feel like we just need a hole to hide in. This Psalmist, along with David and various other Psalmists, knew that God was – and is – the ultimate hiding place. Physical hiding places are subject to discovery and breach, but God is infinite and omnipotent, so in Him we are safe. How do we know? Because He promises it in His Word. Our experience varies, but that is most often because we have a humanistic idea of what a hiding place looks like. We want somewhere with no problems at all, when Jesus assured us that as long as we are in this world, we will have problems. (John 16:33) God is the ultimate hiding place because it doesn’t matter how severe the issues are here, we can have assurance of everything being taken care of for eternity. Paul very deliberately referred to our troubles on this earth as “light and momentary,” saying they weren’t worth comparing to what awaits us – and he went through a lot of troubles! (2 Corinthians 4:17) However, we won’t have peace unless we trust what God has said to us. That’s why the Psalmist here specifies that he has put his hope, his expectant trust, in God’s word. We would certainly be wise to do likewise.
This is perhaps easier for me than for some, since I was raised in a home that was steeped in the Bible and faith, but I know some people who had a very similar home environment but threw it all away. That’s tragic. I understand that abuse in particular can leave you feeling like you have no hiding place, but there are people like Yeonmi Park who have come through horrible abuse and are currently radiantly secure in Christ. I am not to judge others, but I am to seek to point them always to Christ. My own dependence must also be on Him, and not on anything less. I don’t know what yet awaits me, but at the least there will be my physical death. I’m not to be anxious about that, or about anything else, but rather trust that the God who loved me enough to send His Son to die for me has got it all worked out, so I’ve got no worries.
Father, the desire to jump into a hole and pull it in after me is a familiar one to me. Thank You for not giving up on me! Thank You for being my ultimate hiding place, and for growing my faith to understand You more and more. May I be useful to You in helping others come to that realization, and may I not run from anything You allow me to experience, but rather keep growing as You intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!