Hello readers, how has your week been?
Life has felt a bit crazy over here, to be honest. One of my children had a root canal, another had a rough week with their anxiety, I discovered I need an eye procedure done, and the world at large is filled with mayhem. A pretty potent cocktail.
Weeks like these bring me to the end of myself and this one was no different.
But I’ve been circling around an idea that I’ve found helpful and I’d like to share with you. It has to do with the concept of hiding.
The Longing to Hide
There was a morning this week when I literally hid my head under my husband’s pillow, with his head on top. It wasn’t a sustainable plan and I managed to get myself going, but the pull to hide from it all was strong.
We hide from a diversity of dangers, real or imagined, physical or emotional. We hide from situations we find threatening. We hide ourselves from exposure.
In a way, I hide here on the blog. A lot happens between the beginning and end of writing a post. I wrestle my way to conclusive thoughts and click Publish, but I don’t have everything tied up neatly in bows. In real life, I am a bit awkward. I actually struggle with the things I write about. And I am still very much a work in progress.
All things considered, this was the perfect week to contemplate the idea of hiding.
I’ve come to believe that our longing to hide is a natural, God-given tendency. We just don’t always understand what to do with it.
Because the part of us that “fears” is invisible, even when we take physical actions to decrease our fear, the root of the matter often remains. Just as our physical bodies instinctively hide in the presence of danger, our souls have a craving to feel secure as well.
We were created to live in communion with God, completely safe and without fear. but that communion was broken. Through Jesus our communion has been restored, but we live in this weird place where the Kingdom of God and our fallen world overlap.
We often forget where we are, who we are, and that we are safe. In our forgetfulness, we feel suddenly and dreadfully exposed.
We might react to this feeling by physically withdrawing from life, which I wrote about in 4 Steps to Follow When Life Has You Hiding Under the Bed. But there is a type of hiding that has nothing to do with hiding under the bed.
As we learn to live as citizens of God’s kingdom, our forgetful panic can actually serve as a notification. An indicator telling us we have forgotten something important.
We are already hidden in the sovereignty of God.
Let’s walk through two areas over which God is in control.
1. God is Sovereign over His Plan
I don’t know of a more stressful position than being in charge of something that’s out my control. But that’s exactly what happens when I mistakenly think that the world starts and ends with me.
It’s true, we are given work to do, but we have a tendency to over-inflate our own importance. We start to feel the weight of the world resting on our shoulders and we simply are not built for that.
Hiding in God’s sovereignty frees us to do our small part in faithfulness, rather than anxiety, knowing that he is the one who weaves it all together.
We are responsible for our obedience, that is all.
We see this practice modeled for us throughout the Bible:
- In Abraham, climbing the mountain with nothing but an armful of kindling and his promised son Isaac.
- In the prophets, faithfully speaking the word of the Lord to wayward people at great personal cost.
- In a girl, magnifying the Lord as an angel gives her the news that will change her life forever.
- In the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus forfeits his right to call hosts of angels to his aid, instead surrendering to his Father’s sovereign plan.
These people understood that their lives were hidden. They obeyed faithfully, laying their trust upon God’s ultimate plan of salvation. And we can too.
We might not understand the part we are playing, but he does.
God has a purpose for where we are. His plan is unfolding in us and around us. And we can hide in his sovereignty over it.
2. God is Sovereign over our Design
Friends, this one is so hard. But it keeps coming to my mind over and over.
Each one of us has been created with a package of tendencies.
Some of us are naturally truthful. Others are naturally kind. Or helpful or peaceful or diligent. Maybe our motivations haven’t always been righteous, (even our best parts need to be redeemed), but we all have areas we are naturally strong.
And then there’s the other side.
It’s a package deal. We each have propensities towards a certain set of struggles. And they aren’t all the same.
Self-hatred is a powerful feeling. It is easy to become exasperated at the particular sins that trip us up time and time again. We question why we struggle with something that other people seem to navigate easily.
Hiding in God’s sovereignty means accepting his design as good. Accepting that even our weaknesses, our besetting sins, are part of God’s story of redemption playing out in our lives.
Our surrender in these areas glorifies the Lord. You and I were created to display a specific facet of God’s image. As we follow him, he will begin to heal our brokenness, helping us to show that image more clearly.
Don’t be discouraged. There will always be evidence of our need for a Savior. We need him so much more than we even understand.
Knowing God is sovereign over our design means that we can hide in his ability to use us for his glory.
Hiding in the sovereignty of God is the only type of hiding that enables us to live bravely. While we walk the path laid before us, we have a refuge for our souls. A secret place where we know we are safe.
Whatever we face this week, from without or within, we can hide in his sovereignty and follow where he leads.