From Hiding Away to Singing for Joy


“…for You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I will sing for joy” (Psa. 63:7).

When I am hurting, I find I want to hide. I want to retreat. I think many people are like this. Maybe that’s why we self-medicate. We can “hide” in drugs, alcohol, food, TV, shopping, being on the computer or phone. Even “good” activities like reading or exercise or can become harmful if we use them as a form of perpetual distraction.

Our great God knows we want to hide. What was one of the first things Adam did after he ate of the fruit and sinned? He hid. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:8).

Hiding is on my mind this week as I thought about Thanksgiving. Due to health issues, we had a very low-key Thanksgiving. No extended family. We ordered our food from a local restaurant, so all we had to do was heat up our dinner. We ate in clothes that resembled pajamas! It was very easy. During our meal, I commented on how nice it was to have had such a stress-free meal. My daughter asked why the holidays are so stressful for people. What a hard question! I told her that not all families find the holidays stressful, but for some families, getting together is hard. People who don’t see each other for long periods of time are suddenly thrust together, and that is not always easy or fun. Old wounds re-surface.  People squabble over the menu choices or criticize the holiday meal. And that’s not taking into consideration Christmas and the issues that go along with gift-giving and receiving, decorating, etc!

What I find interesting is how, when with family, people often revert to the roles they assumed while living under the same roof. There is the peacemaker, the outcast, the “stuffer” (the one who looks pleasant but stuffs away his or her real emotions), the cynic, the alpha personality, the academic…the list is endless. Sometimes these are not the roles we want to “play” anymore, and gatherings can be tense and unpleasant, even hurtful. And then we try to hide. At least I know I do.

We are coming to the end of our study, Falling in Love Again with Your Lord. Our verse this week talks about the shadow of God’s wings being a place in which we sing for joy. I have always thought of the shadow of God’s wings being akin to a refuge, like an eagle that would stretch out his wings and shelter me from the elements that could rain down upon my head.

But now as I learn more of God’s lovingkindness, I envision being a chick, and God, like a mother hen, wraps His wings about me to shelter me and keep me safe. To hold me close. To give me warmth. I envision being able to climb up onto my heavenly Father’s lap and have him surround me with His soft wings…giving me a place to curl up and hide away. “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psa. 91:4 NIV).

David goes onto say, however, that in the shadow of God’s wings, he will sing for joy! David knows that God is his help, his shield, his strength, his portion, his Deliverer, his shelter, his strong tower, his salvation. He sings for joy, and so should we! Praise God for the song He puts in our mouths (Psa. 40:3)!

So, how do we go from wanting to hide away to singing for joy? That sounds impossible. That’s because it is – on our own. It is only through God’s strength that we can heal in such a dramatic way. We rely on God by fixing our eyes upon Him, and walking, moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, praying to Him, crying out to Him, and asking Him to direct our steps. We become acquainted with the person of God by reading His Word and spending time with Him. We heal and grow by waiting on the Lord to do the work He has promised He will do – and trusting Him to do it.

Father God, help me in this holiday season and always when I am hurting or feel the need to retreat, to come to you and find shelter in your wings. Help me to remember Who my real Shelter is. Help me to remember that the distractions this world offers are temporary and that they cannot ever remove or heal the pain or hurt I may be experiencing. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and not on my circumstances. Thank you, Lord, for your loving provision for your children. You know we want to hide away when life is hard and we are hurting. Thank you for providing the perfect refuge in the shadow of your wings. “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psa. 17:8).

Growing in Grace



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