When life makes you want to run and hide…where do you hide?
Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalms 34:8
Hidden away in some closet at my parents’ house is a stack of photos from my childhood. Every time I look through them, I am reminded of those days in my life when I used to think that there was no problem in life that was too great for my parents to tackle. But now, in the very eyes that once reassured me, I see fear and uncertainty. It’s not that they have become weaker over the years, it’s just that my problems have become more knotty. At some point, we come to terms with the fact that our problems don’t always have happy endings and at times, no ending at all. The truth is, we never stop looking for refuge, a place to hide and recoup. Hiding doesn’t solve our problems but it gives us strength to go on.
When it comes to taking refuge, there is a variety of options to choose from. Industries are built around this concept – anywhere from entertainment and food to sex and drugs. David offers an alternative in this verse, a place where he goes when things don’t go well. Numerous sermons are preached on the first part of this text which invites the listeners to taste and see that the Lord is good but the second part struck me the most. It is no coincidence that David relates the concept of taking refuge in the Lord to tasting and seeing, experiencing God in the ultimate sensory form. I have taken refuge through many worldly avenues. They always left me feeling empty. Only when I reached out to Him from the dumps did I truly taste His presence in my life. An old hymn suddenly makes all the sense in the world,
“There is a place of quite rest
Near to the heart of God…
There is a place of comfort sweet
Near to the heart of God”.