The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
Where is your Cleft? There is a place where we can hide. The safety of the cleft of the Rock of Ages – Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:4 Our Heavenly Father is the Rock of Ages because He is everlasting. Forever we can hide in Him and He will be a fortress and stronghold for us for all eternity.
Have you been trying to hide from 2020? This year has brought with it lots of things we would all like to hide from. I confess that there have been many things in life I would rather hide from than deal with. I hide from the things that I don’t want to think about, from sin, from pain, and from all the uncomfortable things that I cannot change that make me so very exhausted. I hide from my own life sometimes when it is more than I think I can bear – as if hiding my eyes will make everything different. We can hide away in many different things – shopping, eating, family, church, work, even our gifts, and passions. And while many of those things are good things to pour into, they don’t provide lasting peace, nor do they solve any problems. They are sometimes simply distractions to keep us from facing the truth.
Here’s the thing, hiding from all the things does not take the burden away. I can hide my eyes and pretend it isn’t there, but until I give these things over to God, I carry them everywhere I go. The more places I hide that are not the cleft of the Rock, the more I have to carry. Every wrong hiding place sends me away with more baggage and heavier burdens.
There are many stories of women in the Bible that the Lord found in thier hiding. Hagar was an Egyptian woman in the Bible who was a slave for Sarah. Sarah was barren and confused because God had promised her husband, Abraham, that he would have many offspring like the stars in the sky. Even after years of trying, Sarah and Abraham had been unable to conceive, which seemed contradictory to what God had promised. Trying to remedy this problem, Sarah gives her slave to be her husband as a wife (not an uncommon practice in the Old Testament) so she could have his child. After she became pregnant, Hagar started despising Sarah and Sarah began mistreating her. Hagar ran away and hid in the desert, but the Lord met her there. He saw her and heard her and He came to her in her hiding to comfort her and give her strength.
The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.”And the angel of the LORD said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael because the LORD has listened to your affliction.…So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her,
“You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I
have seen him who looks after me.” – Genesis 7-11b; 13
Hagar, in her suffering, ran away and hid, but the Lord saw her. He came to her and He gave her comfort and guidance, and He will do the same for you and me. He loves us, He hears us, He sees us, and He will always meet us right where we are.
There was another story in the Bible about another woman – one who met Jesus at the well, or rather He met her at the well. She was hiding in her shame. She had been married many times and was living with a man she was not married to at the time. She knew what the other women thought about her and she knew when to go to the well to avoid them. She didn’t go early – she went mid-morning when there would likely be no one else there. Jesus knew when she would be there and was waiting for her. He saw her, inside and out. Like Hagar and the woman at the well, we hide from (and in) and avoid many things in this life:
We hide from and in sin and its consequences.
We hide from what has hurt us.
We hide from what will hurt us.
We hide from relationship/family/marriage problems.
We hide from financial problems.
We hide from what causes us fear and anxiety.
We hide from what we cannot control or change.
We hide from and in shame.
We hide from and in guilt.
We hide from our own selves – our own expectations, our own imperfections, our own self-condemnation.
It never serves us, in the long run, to stick our head in the sand when hard things come along. Hiding from them certainly won’t take them away, but will only delay the impending effects of the circumstances, steal our peace, and create more problems for us.
When life becomes too hard and painful to think about or deal with, there is a place we can go, and He is already there. He is the cleft and in Him we are covered by His presence. In spite of everything we may be dealing with, there we can find peace, comfort, and experience His presence. Jesus does have an answer for every single thing we hide from. He offers a place for us to hide in, not from.
Hiding from things gives us a false sense of security and peace. Hiding in Jesus Christ provides us with true security and peace that we cannot find anywhere else.
He provides the safety of a cleft – in His presence. We can go to Him, and hide in His presence, laying everything we are hiding from down at His feet. When we hide in the cleft, we may go in burdened, but we walk out unencumbered by all that we leave with Him. Just a side note – the chair in this picture is a place that I love to hide in. Rocking my sweet granddaughter, I can forget every hard thing there is in this life, and Jesus has met me there time after time and covered me with His presence. I ask you again, where do you hide? Find a place you can go and hide in Him – a place where you can abide with Him, rest in Him, and seek His guidance.
What could be more peaceful than the cleft of the rock and His hand covering us? No matter what comes, we can be safe there. There is more assurance and security in that place than there is in anything this world or another human being could offer us. The Cleft of The Rock of Ages is the safest place where we are covered by His hand, and all that we are hiding from is swallowed up in His presence. Stop hiding from things. Stop hiding in guilt, shame, fear, dread, etc… Instead, hide in the Cleft of the Rock of Ages, where you can find true and lasting peace and comfort.