a safe place to hide
We’ve always had a food chain. Did I say food chain? Um, I meant to say pets—a whole passel of small critters. Over time, they have come and gone. Some were given proper backyard burials with a prayer from yours truly that the dog won’t choose that part of the yard to dig in. Others have been flushed because as we learned in Finding Nemo, all drains lead to the ocean. Some received a send-off courtesy of the trash man…no explanation needed. Ya’ll don’t judge. When hamster #7 passes into the great beyond, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.
So currently, we have a cat. And a dog. Our dog, a two-year old Blue Heeler smarter than her own good, answers to Rubi. Our cat—a long-haired Siamese adopted from the pound eight years ago—doesn’t answer to anything…because she’s a cat. But we call her Cali. They get along well for the most part.
On occasion, the dog likes to play with the cat and the cat tolerates being drug around by her fur. The cat can get away if she chooses to, and the dog (usually) lets go when enough is enough.
A few days ago I picked up the cat and sat on the floor. From another room, the dog sensed it. She came running and jostled her way into my lap too. Cali knew her escape options were limited, so rather than trying to get away, she hid her face between my body and my arm. The rest of Cali was exposed, everything was accessible to the dog except her face. But Cali couldn’t see the danger any longer, so she didn’t move. Not one bit. Rubi pushed, she poked, she nipped at the cat’s tail. Cali was still. She was protected. She was safe.
As I sat there with these two animals, Psalm 91:4 went through my head. It says, “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” It got me thinking.
You know friend, the cat was exposed. I didn’t remove her from the situation. I didn’t get rid of it. I could have. But I didn’t. Instead, I let her take cover. I allowed her a place of safety in the midst of the situation. How much is God like that with us?
The trials hit. Cancer. Divorce. Prodigal. A bill too big to pay. A lost job. A severed friendship. What is that thing you are thinking of right now? It hurts. It scares you. It weighs on you. It robs your sleep. It’s the first thing on your mind when you wake up and the last thing before you drift off to sleep. It’s that thing that isn’t going away.
Let Him cover you. Let Him shelter you.
Let His faithful promises be your armor and protection. How do we do that with a God we know and trust, but can’t physically crawl up in His lap and bury our face into Him?
We fill our minds, we refocus our thoughts from the hard and scary to the perfect and true. We trust in Him, we believe, we take Him at His Word. Find promises. Write them down. Memorize them. Say them on repeat. And when that thing comes to mind, speak the promises of God. Say them out loud. Over and over and over. Be intentional to read Scripture just before you go to bed and right when you wake up. Take that thought captive and believe that, “He who began a good work within you will complete it” (Phil 1:6). Remember, “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Like Cali, hid in my arms thus finding rest, we can and should hide in Him to do the same. And friend, don’t make it the last resort. Don’t let the enemy drag you around. Purpose to go to Him first.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You. – Isaiah 26:3