Hiding is an interesting phenomenon. It is the art of concealing or covering oneself. It comes about as a result of fear—a fear of danger, a fear of harm, or a fear of being exposed.
There was no hiding before the fall. The man and the woman were with God in the garden and they were naked and unashamed. (Genesis 2:25) But only ten short verses later (Genesis 3:10), that very same man and woman find themselves hiding from the Lord their God. “I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid.” And, thus, hiding and covering has been a way of life ever since.
Which brings us to Psalm 32, a close companion of Psalm 51. It is an ancient prayer of David describing what happens when we hide and cover up, and what happens when we stop hiding and turn to God. “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer,” David says. (Psalm 32:3-4) But then he came out of hiding and “acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.” (Psalm 32:5) That’s when the life and the breath and the peace reentered his soul once again. So much so that he then states, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7) Thus, in two short verses, David is able to go from hiding from God, to hiding in God. And if that wasn't enough, the psalm even goes on to say that "the Lord surrounds the man who trust in him." (Psalm 32:10) Absolutely remarkable!
And that is our invitation as well. We all hide. We hide from God, we hide from each other, and we even hide from ourselves. Like Adam and Eve, we spend most of our lives sewing together fig leaves in order to hide our nakedness and our shame. And it is exhausting! We long to live lives of authenticity. We long to live lives that are genuine and true. We long to get back to the Garden where we can stand before God, and each other, naked and unashamed, the way we were created to be.
God offers the same invitation to us that he offered to King David: “Come on. Come to me. Stop hiding from me and start hiding in me. Let me be your hiding place. Let me be the one who loves you, provides for you, and protects you. Let me be the one who delivers you. Let me surround you with my unfailing love and care. Let me be your safe place. True safety is only possible in me.”
O Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee. Today and every day. Amen.