” . . . ask the darkness to hide me . . . “


“Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
You know everything I do;
    from far away you understand all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am working or resting;
    you know all my actions.
Even before I speak,
    you already know what I will say.
You are all around me on every side;
    you protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep;
    it is beyond my understanding.

Where could I go to escape from you?
    Where could I get away from your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there;
    if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there.
If I flew away beyond the east
    or lived in the farthest place in the west,
you would be there to lead me,
    you would be there to help me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
    or the light around me to turn into night,
but even darkness is not dark for you,
    and the night is as bright as the day.

    Darkness and light are the same to you.” (Psalm 139:1-12)

Monday I was out in the front yard flowerbed playing with butterflies.  This gal in the photo was having a great time with the lilies.  I’ve learned to be patient and wait for butterflies to settle on a flower before trying to snap a photo.  I’m accustomed to the pose struck by this particular butterfly, standing on the flower, curled tongue ready to drink deeply of the flower’s nectar.  I wasn’t expecting her next move, and have never seen this before.  The butterfly truly was playing with me, deciding to engage in a game of hide-and-seek. 

I’ve seen children and dogs do this, hiding their heads and thinking their whole body is invisible to the searcher, but never a butterfly.  Wow!  Now, I realize my anthropomorphism was running in high gear, but the butterfly’s behavior started me wondering . . . In other words, I realize the butterfly was actually gathering nectar deep within the blossom, but it seemed to me like she was hiding, and she started me wondering . . .

In the face of danger, hiding can be an acceptable, important, and life-saving form of defense.  It’s deeply ingrained within us that hiding can sometimes be the best defense in the face of overwhelming force.  I guess that’s where the phrase, “Live to fight another day,” (although I prefer, “Live to live another day,”) applies.  Sometimes it’s important to hide to be able to live.

However, as is often the case with our defenses, actions that originated as lifesavers, can become inappropriate responses that steal instead of save life.  Hiding the truth about our selves and our actions toward others can be devastating.  If it weren’t so tragic, it could sometimes be comical.  Too often we act like a child, hiding our head beneath a blanket, expecting that no one can see us.  We hide the truth about our self that’s right in front of us, expecting that if we pretend it’s hidden, it’s not really there, and certainly cannot harm us, or others.  If we say it’s “hidden” (i.e. “not true”) then everyone else should agree and join us in our charade.  Play along and say, like we do to the half hidden child, “Where are you?  Where’s ______?  I can’t find them?”

The psalmist says,  “I could ask the darkness to hide me or the light around me to turn into night, but even darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as bright as the day.”  In other words, I can hide things from myself, I might be able to hide things from others (actually fewer times than we think), but I’m definitely fooling myself if I think I can hide something from God.  When we acknowledge that God sees us – really, really sees us – we open the door for healthy change and healing.

It’s fear and shame that generally cause us to hide and keep us in the darkness away from the light of God’s hope.  The psalmist also says, “If I flew away beyond the east, or lived in the farthest place in the west, you would be there to lead me,
you would be there to help me.”  In other words, no matter where or how I hide or hide things from myself, God can not only find me or see what I would rather not see, but God can also help me.  God’s love is revealing, healing, and life changing – definitely more powerful than fear and shame, if only we will trust.

I pray that God will always help me see what I’d rather hide from myself, and claim God’s healing and life-changing love in know in Christ.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.
Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on July 22, 2015.

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