“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” Psalm 91:1-4
“I think I’ll go back to bed,” I muttered aloud. “It’s an easier place to be.” I said this as I stood up from kneeling on my knees beside my paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon as I prayed briefly to the Lord – mostly for comfort.
I was tired. Physically tired, yes, but more than anything mentally. I had a friend who appeared to be dying, another friend on the verge of homelessness, another friend homeless who was teetering on the border of living for Christ or not, a senior Mom whom I adore who for years has made me an exceedingly low priority and made it that much harder by denying it, other family members who barely talk to me if at all because I had talked about something difficult from the past, a long history of losses and trials, and a life being on the road full-time for ministry chock full of lots of unwanted solitude not to mention one challenge after another, caring for special needs dogs 24-7 for years, and, most of all, a pervading, underlying sense of unhappiness despite my exceeding joy of loving and being promised everlasting life with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Going back to bed surely was the answer, right? I could hide under the covers and come out when life felt good, when the challenges were gone, when I could have even one single day of total peace, nothing tough, nothing challenging, well, you know, the perfect, easy, comfortable, secure life not to mention being surrounded by the loved ones I had always wanted to have in my life, nearby, in close community, enjoying one another’s company. Going back to bed. Surely it would solve everything. Right?
The truth is I did need to go back to bed. For a little while. For a little rest. For a little quiet time. But not to hide under the covers on my small, narrow bed that was half covered with boxes of Gospel tracts, Bibles, and other stuff given the limited storage space in my little NYC apartment I was renting for the season I would spend in the city doing streets ministry and continuing forth with my writing.
I needed to hide in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the secret place. In the refuge of Jesus. In the fortress of God. Under the wings of Christ. In the peace and quiet and comfort of God. In communion with Him. Away from it all. Not that He would take any of the hard stuff away. But that in Christ, in spending time in His presence, in just breathing, just exhaling, just resting for a few minutes in the pages of the Bible, being encouraged by God and by the countless stories in His Word of others, of people who had faced trials beyond belief, who had persevered in loving and serving God, in all of this I would be refreshed, be strengthened, be comforted and encouraged, be prepared to go back out into the world to do what I am called to do. To love and worship God forever and to tell the world about Jesus Christ who is the only way to a forever relationship with God. Yes, I did need to hide! But the bed itself wasn’t the answer. The answer was time away with, time away in, time in the loving arms of Jesus.
Whether or not I went back to bed wasn’t the point. I needed time with Jesus. At His feet. In His presence. In His company. Consciously laying everything and everyone else aside and being with Him. To just be with Him. To pray and listen. To study and learn. To grow and unwind. To be still. To be with God.
Just like we all need. Time alone with God. No matter what you’re facing, good, bad, hard, easy, somewhere in between, no matter what, every day, without fail, please make sure your highest priority in life is believing in and loving and obeying and serving and worshiping and being with and praying to and listening to and seeking forgiveness from and learning from and becoming like and resting in and being changed by Jesus who is Christ forevermore, AMEN!