"You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word." Psalm 119:114 ESV
I must admit there have been times when I need to retreat to my hiding place. I need to escape for even a few minutes to breathe and hit the pause button on my brain in the craziness and busyness of life. At other times, I am energized and ready to charge headlong into the next task. I suspect that everyone has had similar experiences.
The psalmist uses military imagery in this verse. There is the offensive maneuver of retreat. This tactic is used not only as an opportunity to rest but also to evaluate your response. The shield is an essential piece of armor, used both offensively and defensively. In Ephesians, Paul talks about the shield representing our faith and vital in deflecting the projectiles hurled at us by Satan.
Whether we are in a time of rest or the midst of the battle, our hope lies in God's word. In the Bible, we can find the encouragement we need for any situation. Also, in prayer, we can hear the spoken word in the Holy Spirit. In our study, meditation, and prayer, we can discern when it's time to rest and when it's time to forge ahead. The answer may well be to proceed but to modify our approach. We need to be open and responsive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
God, we give you thanks that in all situations, you are with us. We are grateful for the hope found in your word, written and spoken. By discernment of the Holy Spirit, you guide our lives into periods of rest and activity. Please help us this day to be attentive to your word. In Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.