Hide and seek with a toddler is a gloriously simple game. I cover my face then peep out over my hands, and say, “Boo!”
This is enough to send my granddaughter into fits of giggles.
Now that she is two, we even scamper around the living room and down the hall and back around. I pretend to chase her and then cut back the other way and circle around in the opposite direction. When I come towards her, she is genuinely surprised and joyful to see me again. It is gloriously fun, and the laughter continues.
My granddaughter loves to spend time with me. I don’t have to impress her with anything other than being fully present with her. I try my best to set aside my “To Do” list and be fully focused on whatever we are doing together. As a young mother years ago, I failed to do that far too often. In this second time around with my grandchildren, I’m trying to enjoy the wisdom that comes later in life. Most of the other stuff can wait. Being fully present overflows with rewards for her and for me.
God loves for me to be fully present with Him. As I pray through Psalm 27, I am reminded of all God is doing for me.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 ESV
2 When evil doers assail me, to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Psalm 27:2 ESV
Where do I hide when life feels dark and overwhelming?
In a dark world, only God can provide true light to guide me. He provides a place of respite where I can hide and be protected. My heavenly Father is omnipresent, so this place can be anywhere I cry out to him. While I am unlikely to face any cannibals this week, I may find those whose words tear my flesh with sarcasm and harsh judgment. It is, however, not up to me to take out those who cause me grief. God has a way of sorting them out in His ways and timing.
3 Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. Psalm 27:3 ESV
4 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4 ESV
Where can I worship and wonder?
Sometimes when I feel particularly surrounded, I might need to go to a physical sanctuary where symbols and structure can serve to remind me of God’s presence. Perhaps there is a church sanctuary or chapel that I could spend some time in praying or being silent? Is there a weekday service that I could go to and find an extra dose of gazing upon the beauty of the Lord in his temple? Just spending half an hour wondering about God in His house might refresh my spirit in new ways.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. Psalm 27:5 ESV
6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the Lord. Psalm 27:6 ESV
Where can I hide and give my offerings?
Spending time outside in God’s amazing creation can also refresh my weary soul. God’s great outdoors contains mountain majesties, wooded sanctuaries, rocky platforms, and so many holy spaces. These are places where I can offer up sacrifices of praise in the form of singing or playing an instrument before Him. Being outdoors resets my brain and worship refreshes my spirit.
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! Psalm 27:7 ESV
8 You have said, “Seek my face. ”My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” Psalm 27:8 ESV
Where can I know I am heard, seen, and protected?
Setting aside extra time this week in God’s word can be a great way to seek God’s face. As an audio learner, I find that listening to someone read the Bible can bring a wonderful new perspective. One of my favorite Bible readers is Max McLean on Bible Gateway. As I listen to a reading, with an open Bible before, I see new things I haven’t seen before. God longs to have a conversation with me. Too often I am very quick to speak and painfully slow to listen for His still quiet voice. When I don’t feel like God is listening to me, taking extra time to listen to Him always seems to shift my perspective. Often, He will speak into the very thing I am so concerned about.
9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation! Psalm 27:9 ESV
10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. Psalm 27:10 ESV
Where can I find help and community?
Christian psychologist, Dan Allender teaches that parents should delight in their children. Like so many others, my family of origin was a bit more dysfunctional than delightful. My parents struggled with brokenness and did not have the resources of a faith community when I was a child. After I came to know Him, the Lord truly did take me in and provide family members inside my church. I am blessed to know some of those spiritual sisters, mothers, brothers, and fathers to this day. As much as it is possible, take time weekly to connect with your community.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord, and lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Psalm 27:11 ESV
12 Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence. Psalm 27:12 ESV
Where can I find instruction and a safe sanctuary?
The last 18 months have been full of change for everyone. Changing expectations, changing rules, changing ways of doing things, changing how we used to think about things…the constant is change. However, God does provide a level path with His wise and consistent guidance. God remains faithful even amid uncertainty. When I feel disoriented about someone saying something wrong about me, I can take it to the Lord and enquire of Him about what if any of it is true. He is my North Star and reliable guide.
13 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Psalm 27:13 ESV
14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14 ESV
Where do I wait and find the courage to persevere?
The Lord is always worthy of my waiting. While I find myself on pause, sometimes the best use of my time is to create a list of thanksgivings and review all He has done for me recently. These lists provide a visual of the goodness of the Lord where I can fix my eyes. Reviewing God’s faithfulness fills my heart and mind with the courage I need most to carry on.
Lord, please cultivate in me greater faith in dark and challenging times. Help me to find safety in you alone and not escape into the empty ways of the world. Would you provide the will in me and the creative ways to set aside time only for you, Lord? Help me bask in your presence and focus entirely on you. Help me to regularly spend time in the spiritual community you have provided. Guide me to find time and space in Your house whenever I can. Let me always be found waiting for your goodness. Amen