This morning, I think about the number of times David asked God to “hide” him, especially in Psalm 17 where he writes to God, “hide me in the shadow of your wings.”
I love how David understands God as his hiding place, most notably in Psalm 32:7 where he states: “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
I think of David wanting to hide away from the pressure of his ministry as king, from the fear of his real and imagined enemies, and from the battles he would fight. I think of him as an ordinary man with an extraordinary calling that he had to grow into. After all, think about that moment when he tries on the king’s armor that doesn’t fit him and decides to use the smooth stones and a sling to defeat a giant (1 Samuel 17: 38). I think of his mistakes and sin (Psalm 32). I think of all his despair recounted in his psalms. He’s a writer trying to make sense of his life like so many of us.
But in the quiet moment when David writes to the Lord, he asks for a hiding place. It’s sweet. It’s innocent like a child. I wonder if, as a shepherd boy alone on the hillside, he enjoyed hiding away in the shade somewhere as he watched the sheep. Children love to hide (especially if they know someone is looking for them and will find them). In that hiding place, it’s quiet and cool and restful. It’s peaceful and solitary. You can breathe in the hiding place. You can feel safe and loved. You can feel unseen from the crowd. It’s a place to think, to write, to pray, and to worship.