We have a staff dog named Peaches at my church. She is a little mixed breed who is always happy to see us as we come through the door. (Except for one staff member, who keeps threatening to send her to the pound. We think he’s joking, but Peaches isn’t taking any chances.) She barks until she ascertains that you belong there; then she offers her small, warm tummy for free rubs.
Peaches attends staff meetings, and it’s good to have her there if the conversation gets tense, WHICH OF COURSE IT NEVER DOES BECAUSE WE ARE A CHURCH STAFF. (OK, well hardly ever.) She goes around the room as we talk, and helps herself to a piece of the couch that seems the friendliest. Soon enough, the staff member seated there will find themselves with lap full of Peaches. There is nothing better in a meeting than the warmth of a happy little dog.
Peaches has taken to hiding her bone in the chair in my office. My office is located in the back of the building, farthest from the busy front area. I discovered her hiding place one Sunday when I was meeting with a prospective church member. I was focused on greeting him, and when I sat down, I did not expect a sharp poke in my lower back. It was a Princess and the Pea moment. As I dug through the back of the cushion, I discovered Peaches’ bone. Now I look before I sit. I’m not sure who Peaches is hiding her bones from, as nobody on the staff really wants one. But Peaches understands the value of a good hiding place.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
It is good to know that on the day of trouble, God is our hiding place. He will keep us safe from harm in his dwelling. He will set us upon a high rock where we can spot trouble coming from a long way off.
Worship happens in the house of the Lord in places commonly referred to as sanctuaries. For one hour a week, God offers a place of refuge and respite from the trouble that the world gives. We have a brief sabbath from the normal routine when we get to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and hopefully think of nothing else.
As important as that one hour is, God’s dwelling is everywhere, and the shelter of his sacred tent is available at any moment of any troubled day. HE is our hiding place. When we open scripture or go to him in prayer, we enter into his temple, where peace and safety abide.
What is troubling you today? What do you wish to hide from so that you might catch your breath and regenerate? When hard times come, it is good to know where to turn. God is your rock, your salvation, and your 24/7 sanctuary. Flee to him in your time of trouble. His door is always open.