You will be my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32: 7
Did you or your children ever watch Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood? If so, I am sure you still remember his song, “It’s a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood” as he asked, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” He was always so gentle and comforting, and what a safe place he made the world seem!
I had not thought of him in ages – until Kelly sent a text saying that Drue had taped an old episode of the show for the boys to watch, and all 3 of them were sitting enamored in front of the TV. Drue loved the show as a child, so he thought the boys might enjoy seeing something he had watched. Cole really liked it and wants his dad to tape more of them, but Miles said he thought that Mr. Rogers overdid the singing, and he asked if he ever left his house and went out into the real world!
Funny and pretty perceptive! Guess it was indeed unrealistic, but for those few minutes while we all watched, didn’t we feel happy and secure?
I began to think about how simple and safe Mr. Rogers did make our world seem. I remembered watching it with Kelly and Scott when they were young, and I began to wonder when the show first aired. I looked it up and found it was 1963 (and on PBS from 1968 – 2001). I had forgotten he was a minister, and I thought it was pretty sweet that he wanted to honor his mom by wearing all the sweaters on the show that she had made for him. I also read that he wrote the over 200 songs he sang on the show which taught so many lessons about life.
But the most interesting thing I learned was that when he was a young boy and would watch scary things on the news, his mom would always tell him to look for the helpers, and then he would know there was hope. She told him that we will always find people helping and caring about what we are going through. What a wonderful lesson for all of us!
Mr. Rogers once said that this was one of the reasons he wanted to do the show. He wanted to make young kids smile, to show them that they are special and unique, that the world is not always a kind place, but that God will always send them neighbors and helpers to make it seem less scary.
The world doesn’t seem quite as simple and safe today, does it? I think we all need to know from time to time that there is a safe refuge, a hiding place, for us in times of need. This verse is a good reminder that we do have that place, and that is with our God. Sometimes we just need the stillness of His presence and the strength and assurance He can give.
Yet, as we have grown in age and wisdom, we have learned that trusting in God doesn’t always keep us away from trouble in our lives, from evil that occurs around us, or from harm or even death. But as hard as it is to understand why these things happen with a loving God who has promised never to leave us, we have His assurance that He will always be with us – no matter what we are going through. He can lift us up with His loving arms into safety, or be with us through the pain and fear, or if it is His will, He will even be there to carry us lovingly into our eternal home. That is His promise and we know it to be true.
He will be “my hiding place”, and He will be yours. We can rest in His comfort and care. God too wants us to know that we are special and unique in His eyes, and that we can always trust in Him. He surrounds us with His mercy and with His songs, reminding us of His love and grace to lift our spirits and to give us hope. With Him, we can always rest, feeling safe and secure in His arms.
Our heavenly Father, we thank you for being our refuge, our place of peace and rest in times of need. May we always trust in your mercy, your grace, and your love for us. Amen