You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble. Psalm 32:7
Like the unraveling of a rope, the threads of Doug Merkey’s life were breaking one by one. “My mother had lost her prolonged battle with cancer; a long-term romantic relationship was failing; my finances were depleted; my vocation was foggy. . . . The emotional and spiritual darkness around me and within me was deep and debilitating and seemingly impenetrable,” the pastor and sculptor wrote. These collective events, combined with living in a cramped attic, became the setting from which his sculpture The Hiding Place emerged. It depicts Christ’s strong, nailed-scarred hands openly cupped together as a place of safety.
Doug explained the design of his artwork this way: The “sculpture is Christ’s invitation to hide in Him.” In Psalm 32, David wrote as one who had found the ultimate safe place—God Himself. He offers us forgiveness from our sin (vv. 1–5) and encourages us to offer prayer in the midst of tumult (v. 6). In verse 7, the psalmist declares his trust in God: “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
When trouble shows up, where do you turn? How good it is to know that when the fragile cords of our earthly existence begin to unravel, we can run to the God who has provided eternal safety through the forgiving work of Jesus.
What has it meant or what will it mean for you to find shelter, safety, and forgiveness in Jesus? How does He provide what you need for your cares, fears, and burdens?
Father, You know the times I’ve sought to piece my life together without You. Help me to forsake my misguided plans for safety and to run swiftly to You.
Psalm 32 is one of the great penitential psalms in which the writer confesses his sin to God. It’s intriguing that David makes mention of his bones in verse 3. “Bones” as understood here is representative of his physical health. David uses the same terminology in Psalm 6:2, where he says, “Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony,” and the term appears frequently throughout the Psalms and Proverbs. It’s dangerous to assume that physical affliction is a sign of God’s judgment (see the book of Job), but the biblical poets knew well that sin wears us out emotionally and physically. A failure to repent will have an adverse effect on our spiritual and physical health. Confession is good for the soul and for our entire being.