Humanity loves to celebrate acts of valor.
Each year, dozens of books are written and dozens of movies are scripted to shine the spotlight on a hero who stood courageously in the face of danger. When everyone else ran and hid, one warrior defied evil, saved the day, and gave hope to the world!
Why are these storylines so popular? One reason may be that, deep down, we all want to be the hero that we know we aren't capable of being. No matter how tough or strong we think we are, we run when trouble comes knocking, and we hide when darkness closes in.
It's hard to blame a person for running and hiding. This world, broken by sin, really is a dangerous place. I bet you're facing some of these dangers right now:
1. Mundane Danger: We all experience the danger of sin in mundane moments and relationships of everyday life. We're nursing the wounds of hurtful words and deceitful actions, and just because they take place in the mundane doesn't mean they leave insignificant scars.
2. Life-Altering Danger: Perhaps you've been hospitalized because of someone else's violent or careless actions. Perhaps you're dealing with the devastation of an unfaithful spouse. Perhaps you're facing a job loss or career change because a co-worker or boss set you up.
3. Environmental Danger: Racism, corrupt government, and international war impact the lives of many. Disease, failing bodies, and medical emergencies are virtually inescapable. Pollution, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis are present realities. You face danger every day when you wake up into a broken environment.
4. Spiritual Danger: There's an evil enemy planting deceit, division, destruction, and death anywhere he can. You and I have never experienced even one day free from seduction being whispered in our ears and dangled before our eyes. Temptation assaults constantly, wearing down our resolve.
5. Personal Danger: The danger of the fallen world isn't only around us; it's inside us as well. Sin reduces us to fools and makes wrong feel right. Sin causes us to live more for the moment than for the long-term. It tempts us to opt for individuality rather than community. It encourages us to excuse and atone when we're discovered. We are our biggest danger!
So, when you've been wounded by the dangers of this broken world, where do you run for refuge? When you're perceptive enough to see the danger coming, where do you hide for protection? When you're exhausted with the difficulty of the journey, where do you turn for rest and retreat?
As a Christian, running and hiding isn't something to be ashamed of. In fact, the Bible encourages it! There are seemingly endless references in the Psalms where the author is seeking a refuge, a shield, a rock, or a fortress (see 9:9, 18:2, 27:1, 37:39, 94:22, 144:2, and many others).
Running and hiding doesn't get us into trouble; running to the wrong refuge and hiding in the wrong fortress does. When trouble comes, do you run to other people? Do you hide in the fortress of Netflix? Do you run to alcohol? Do you hide in the busyness of a work schedule?
The reality is that we all run and we all hide, but there's only one safe place. The Lord is the world's most reliable stronghold. He has the power to protect you, and he has the grace to restore your soul. He gives strength to the weary and returns the joy of the broken.
Only Christ can renew you, body and soul. Heaven and earth obey his commands. He is an immovable rock and an impenetrable shield. He delights in holding you in the hollow of his hand. He takes joy in covering you in the shadow of his wing.
Why don't you run and hide in him?
- Which of the 5 dangers are you suffering through most right now?
- When you're in danger, where do you tend to run and hide?
- How can you encourage others to run and hide in the Lord?