It was already way past their bedtime but when I started to switch off the lights, one of my boys started crying. Initially, he refused to tell me what was wrong but, after a while, with much hesitation, he started sharing bits and pieces with loud sobs. His friends had shown him a video clip with a scary-looking ghost who chased people. My little boy couldn’t bring himself to sleep as he was scared that a ghost might come for him in the middle of the night. Though I assured him otherwise, he was not convinced. Finally, I prayed with him and lay with him till he slept off. But the next night, he started crying again.
This time I made him pray on his own and reassured him again that God was with him and would never leave him. In the morning, when he woke up, he told me excitedly that while he was sleeping, every time he woke up, he felt someone was lying with him and he didn’t feel afraid anymore. But what he said next was like music to my ears. “You know who it was, Mamma? It was God who was lying with me.” And the following night onwards, he slept in peace.
As I praised God inwardly for revealing Himself to my little one and thought about the anxiety he went through, it struck me that it’s not just when we are kids that we feel afraid. Even as adults, we have our own version of ‘ghosts’. It could be an intimidating boss at work, a medical report that doesn’t look good, or uncertainty about the future of our kids. College exams that feel impossible to get through or even dealing with a bully in the neighbourhood. To top it all, change of any sort or form can be so scary at times. So what hope do we have when we are fearful?
The Word of God tells us in Psalm 91:1 that “he who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The secret place of the Most High, the Almighty God, the Creator of the ends of the earth… Surely, it must be a place we cannot go or find. And yet, the psalmist says we can dwell there. So, where is this place? It is found when we have sweet communion with our God during our quiet time. Many times, we offer up quick SOS prayers throughout the day when we have various needs, but fail to specifically set time aside to spend with God. How often I have traded precious time with God for an extra hour of sleep or unfinished housework, never realising the gravity of what I have actually lost.
The Lord longs to reveal Himself to us and tell us wonderful things we can only imagine. “The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant” (Psalm 25:14). To think that the Lord of the universe longs to share His heart, mind, even secrets with us puny creatures! The more we spend time with Him, the more we learn to be aware of His presence in our lives. He will no longer feel like a guest staying with us for a short time, but rather a constant companion, a precious friend who knows us through and through and will stick by us no matter what.
The more we spend time with Him, the less He will feel like a guest… but rather a constant companion
Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God”. And who is this God we serve? He is the omnipotent God, who is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. The King of Kings and the ruler of every principality under heaven and on earth. His voice is like the raging thunder and He brings things into existence with a word. He calms the storms, raises the dead, and heals the sick. He is the everlasting God who is over the past, present and future. It is in the shadow of this great God that we walk daily.
How can we ever be afraid of anything in life when He is with us? Do you realise that if He is walking in front of you, your problems and enemies have to deal with Him first before they can get to you? Imagine a huge fortress, a pillar of cloud in front of you. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right side but it will not come near you (Psalm 91:7). God’s powerful angel armies are all geared up at His command to help you fight your battles (v.13) and even lift you up in their hands to protect you (vv.11,12). God Himself shall cover you with His feathers and keep you under His wings (v.4).
If this were not enough, Romans 8:31, 33-34 says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died — more than that, who was raised — who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.” Here is our God, ready to answer anyone who seeks to accuse us. I can only bow down and worship as I try to grasp both the magnanimity of His greatness and His fiercely, protective love over me, both physically as well as spiritually.
Nothing and no one can ever take us away from His protection and love, for we are forever engraved on His hands. It is only through His Word and when we talk to Him that we will understand this and find rest for our souls. Our problems may not vanish instantly, and we may not find all the answers to our questions, but we will know with certainty that we are not alone to face life. It will no longer be something that we know in our heads, but it will be inscribed in our hearts.
Our problems may not vanish instantly, but we will know with certainty that we are not alone
There’s a little story snuggled in 2 Kings 6:15-17 that narrates how the king of Syria sent a huge army to capture Elisha and his servant. “When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
May the Lord open our eyes and hearts and help us feel His presence. Then we will no longer be afraid but instead, experience the fullness of His joy. “For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings, I will sing for joy” (Psalm 63:7). The joy of the Lord will sustain us irrespective of our circumstances, for we will know that He has everything under control. “You will keep him in steadfast peace because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).
Have you been to the secret place of the Most High today? If you have been there once, it will draw you to keep returning, because it is the most wonderful place to be in. Moses constantly went to that secret place and God revealed Himself to him. Whenever he came out, his face shone with the glory of God. No Red Sea, no Pharoah and no great army could ever make him tremble. For he knew whose shadow he was walking in: El-Shaddai’s.
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