A Hiding Place

When my heart is afraid
And the voices of darkness
Surround me on every side
And take my breath away
I lift up my song ….

When fear tries to come
And recapture my soul
And my heart is too weary to cope
I run to the Lord
My shield and my hope ….

When my heart is afraid
Of the voices of darkness
When the battle is too much for me
I lay down my sword
And I reach for you, Lord …

Stephanie Staples-Rostad, 2022

One of the songs on the new record is a collaboration with the amazing and talented Michael James Ledner called, “You Are My Hiding Place/When My Heart Is Afraid Medley,” featuring Phil Keaggy. (We both would liked to have kept it simple by calling it “Hiding Place” but for copyright reasons we had to make that title super long.)

In the 1980’s Michael Ledner wrote a beautiful song called, “You Are My Hiding Place.” If you attended church from the late 80’s to the early 90’s, you will probably recognize it. Before we began tracking for the new record I was playing Michael’s song, pouring my heart out in prayer, and a new melody and lyrics came. It seemed to fit with Ledner’s refrain and together the message of the song fit perfectly with the other songs for the record.

“You Are My Hiding Place” is based on Psalm 32:7:

“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah”

When I was doing some research about the original version of “You Are My Hiding Place,” I stumbled across this sentence and it has changed the way I read the Psalms: “There’s no place to hide, but there is a person who can hide me.” (I believe someone named David Cain penned that sentence but it is unclear on the blog post.) In other words, God doesn’t always save us from battle but he is an “ever present” place for us to hide in the midst of it. He preserves us.

The definition of preserve:

  • to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction : protect
  • to keep alive, intact, or free from decay

David was a warrior/King. He was fighting, not hiding. When he sang, “YOU are my hiding place and my shield,” he was expressing his faith in a God who would keep him safe during very real, violent and bloody conflicts.

David’s expectation was for provision and protection during battle—not deliverance from the battle itself. When the war is raging around us—whatever that war may be—we can also be confident and assured that God himself is also our shield. He does not promise to take us out of trouble (“in this world you will have trouble”) but he does promise that he will be with us (“I am with you always”) to give us peace and strength . . . and, in my experience, songs of hope and light.

“The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Psalm 118:14

Rest in the knowledge that God is near. The battle may be strong but remember: the battle is the Lord’s.

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