How to Hide in Christ

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As an introvert, I often say I can be anywhere for any period of time, as long as I have a little corner to retreat to periodically to regroup, calm down, and focus my thoughts. But life doesn’t always allow such luxuries.

When Corrie ten Boom found her and her loved ones prisoners in a concentration camp, they weren’t even allowed to shower in private (sometimes not at all), and they certainly weren’t allowed any peace, quiet, puffy pillows, warm blankets, cups of tea, or Bibles.

Somehow, Corrie learned to hide in Christ when everything around her was harsh, havoc, and hellish. Without talking to her personally, I can’t say for certain how she managed to make Christ her hiding place when her world was turned topsy-turvy and brutally uncomfortable. But if I had to guess, I would say that in order to hide in Christ, she first learned to hide Christ’s words in her heart.

Maybe that’s the very definition of hiding in Christ: branding His Word deeply onto our hearts, so when havoc finds us, we have what what we need in a place that no man can touch or destroy.

I’m no Corrie. I’ve never experienced unjust imprisonment for loving and protecting innocent Jews. But in the last year, I’ve known to some degree what it is to live topsy-turvy and out of my comfort zone. And either I am getting old and my memory is failing, or I have simply not hidden God’s Word in my heart sufficiently. Too often, words of Christ slip my mind, and I find myself googling “Psalm for anger” or “verses on anxiety” or “is it wrong for a Pastor’s wife to de-stress by smoking cigarettes?” (Just kidding)

I read once that William Wilberforce had a habit of taking long walks while reciting Psalm 119. I had never studied the passage extensively (it’s so long and I am so not patient). But in the midst of one of my anxious fits a few months ago, I turned there to try and decipher why Wilberforce was so enthralled with the longest chapter in the Bible.

At first, it seemed the Psalmist was a broken record. And haughty.

Oh how I love thy law.

With my whole heart I have sought you.

I cling to Your testimonies.

I have chosen the way of truth.

Your word have I hidden in my heart.

I will not forget Thy word.

By verse 57, I was getting weary of the Psalmist’s self-acclaimed maturity. On and on he went, seemingly tooting his horn and bragging about his impeccable ability to love God’s Word at all times, at all costs. Finally, I came to the last verse, where he suddenly spins around and says (in essence), “Au contraire!”

I have gone astray like a lost sheep;
Seek Your servant.
For I do not forget Your commandments.

For 175 verses, I misunderstood. I pegged the writer as one who religiously pats himself on the back. But it turns out, he was penning a long-winded post-it note ~ a marathon reminder to stay focused, to keep choosing right and to love God’s law over any man-made law, because his bent was to wander like a small-brained, flighty sheep.

No wonder Wilberforce chose Psalm 119. His opposition was fierce. He was not well liked by anyone who disapproved of his mission to abolish the slave trade, and that was a good many people. His battle was long, arduous, and accompanied by a painful, energy-sucking physical condition. With that lot in life, who wouldn’t need a little self-convincing to stay on track?

And no wonder Corrie fared as well as she did in prison. Statute after statute and law after law was hidden in her heart, and as a result, when the going got tough, she remained unbroken.

So that’s the secret. If we want to hide in Christ, we must hide Christ in us. If we want to remain unbroken, we must have broken and contrite hearts that are set on knowing His Word better than the backs of our hands.

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Maybe you are an extrovert and the idea of hiding to regroup is foreign and unappealing. You need people. Action. Lights. Lots of fanfare all the time time time. Your temptation is to never hide because hiding is boring and every time you try, you end up snoring like a sinus plugged rhino. But I would say that whether the reader is outgoing or hermitic, the need for a hiding place exists. Even Jesus hid. He climbed mountains to get away from the cares and parties of life, to quote Scripture, to pray and recommit to the Father.

How do we think heroes of the faith become heroic? Certainly not by following their nature, but by refusing to cater to their nature.

So whatever your bent, hide.

Hide His Word in the deepest crevices of your hearts when times are swell. Because when the topsy-turvy times arrive (and they will), you will be like a tree planted by the waters, rather than the leaf that withers or the chaff that scatters. You will be a Corrie. A Wilberforce. A lost sheep, yes. But also found. Hidden in the hallow of His hand, where no harm can follow.

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