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Day Sixty –Eight

Dwelling In the Secret Place – A Refuge Beyond Harm

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].” Ps 91:1 Amp

 

          All of us need a secret place.  All of us need a place beyond the reach of the enemy of our soul.  Unfortunately, many of us don’t know of such a place – let alone find it.

          More than just a place of physical safety, the secret place of the Most High God affords us safety for our soul and our spirit.  It is our refuge in Jesus Christ.  It is a stronghold of safety where no other power can overcome you!

          Growing up – I wish I had known of this place.  You may recall that whole: “sticks and stones” adage – which was and is basically a lie.  Words do hurt us: especially if they are embraced and allowed to enter the thoughts of our mind to be played over and over.  They are given power at that point to affect who we become, and how we become.  I was affected like this.

          Some of the earliest words I remember my dad saying to us three kids (I was the youngest) was: “You are only guests in this house – you were not wanted.”  At another time he said to me specifically, “If you don’t hold this still I will kill you!” (I was helping him put siding on our house. My job was to hold the board as he sawed it.)  Words like those can do damage.  They easily bobble around in our thinking like a loose marble, making mush of emotional health and stability.

This is what I love about the Lord and His Word.  It lifts me out of my pit of despair and hopelessness; it binds up the emotional hurts and wounds where no one even sees them.  But more than a band-aide on my hurts, the Lord renews my thinking concerning my situation.  He gives me light in my thoughts, and love in my heart to understand how such hard situations occur.  He covers me with His own love and protection and bathes me in His acceptance!  It is then that I can become stable and fixed in my outlook.

My dad was a wounded and broken man, unhappy and consumed with self-despising thoughts.  When I was still in the womb he was diagnosed with early-onset  Parkinson’s Disease.  He was just in his thirty’s. The Parkinson’s took his critical, hard nature and enhanced it with paranoia and deep rage.  Most every response of his was out of that place.

But as I became a believer in Jesus, He began to sow forgiveness in my heart towards my dad, even though he had already passed away.  The Lord gave me a recollection of my dad, how he loved to go to the shopping mall and sit in the parked car to watch people.  My dad loved people – to chat and socialize.  He was a mega- extravert.  But his own view of his Parkinson’s made him a thing of derision in his own eyes.  He had felt this same scathing towards an old-man in Swissvale, PA that he would see lumbering in a shaky, unsteady gate across a small bridge there. This man had Parkinson’s.  In my dad’s thinking – he had become that man.  The one whom he had derided was now himself.

          The Lord showed me how my dad lived in a place beyond happiness or contentment, because he assumed others despised him as he loathed himself.  He was captive to his own unstable thinking.  The hurt he felt he took out on others.

The Lord broke my heart for my dad as he unveiled this understanding to me.  It became easy to forgive my dad for his hurtful, harsh manner as I saw the prison (albeit self-constructed) he dwelt in.  He desperately wanted interaction with people, but was forced by his thinking to live on the outskirts of true fellowship.

My dad was a victim of the enemy’s lies, and an adversary of God’s truth.  Thus he was not able to dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High God.  His thinking was not renewed according to the Word of God.  This is what kept him captive to misery. But it need not be so with you or me.  We do not need to stay on the outskirts of fellowship with God.

Every one of us has endured harsh words or painful experiences of some type.  The enemy’s desire is that we would curl –up and die.  But the Lord has made a way for us to be set free from every prison of our thoughts, perceptions, and crooked thinking.  We can even be free from those wounding and hurts that have scarred us deeply.

What is needed – is to be willing and open to the Lord’s perspective rather than nursing our own grudges and stroking our own entitled sense of rage.

The Lord would have each of us embrace His truth, His heart and His mind about everything.  He would have us let go of our axes to grind, and instead be freed from that bile and hatred that will consume us.  He wants to bring us to the Secret Place of perpetually dwelling with Him, where no foe’s power can withstand Him.  So the question stands before us — Are you willing?

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