The Secret Place

under the shadow of our beautiful God

As a child I loved my secret hiding place. I was a bit of a tomboy, so my favourite hiding place was up an old gnarly gum tree in our backyard. I would climb up and disappear amongst its leafy branches and it felt magical, and in that secret place I felt safe and protected.

Maybe you had a secret place as a child? Perhaps under a staircase or tucked under the bed? And you imagined that you could live there all the time, and no one would ever find you.

God too invites us into His secret place. A place of safety and refuge, where we can dwell, rather than visit occasionally.

Psalm 91:1 says

“He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”
– Psalm 91:1 (KJV)

That secret place where we can quiet our hearts from all the world’s voices and just sit with Jesus. The place that allows our soul to breathe and be restored. The place where we can drop the “mess” the world hands us and exchange it for the fullness of God.

It’s a place where God reassures us that He has everything under control and gives us a new lense of truth through which we can process life.

That secret place has been a lifesaver for me particularly during the last couple of years which have been tough for me and my family. Early 2021 the love of my life, my best friend, my husband Aaron was diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s. That diagnosis turned our world upside down and many of our hopes and dreams seemed to vanish the moment those words were spoken. I just wanted to clamber up that childhood tree and hide out and pretend everything was ok.

The only safe place to run to in that time, however, was into His secret place, into the presence of Jesus. I wasn’t coming to Him with any pretty words, just a lot of messy tears and desperate cries, ‘God I am here, and I need you right now. Please help! Please meet me in this place.’ I just need to sit under your shadow that covers everything… the pain, the loss, the disappointment, and the heartbreak.

Even in the harshest and hardest of times, even when God seems silent or distant, as we take the time to lean in and draw close to Him, He is always whispering His love over us as we make room for His presence in our lives.

For me, I heard His whisper of love remind of His words in Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honour to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me…

Psalm 23:1-4 (NLT)

There have been times along this journey so far where things have seemed overwhelming and I have allowed my mind to go to unhelpful places – to the ‘what-if’s’ and the speculations about what the future might look like but it is at these times after much wrestling and waring that I realize that I have moved out of my Saviour’s shadow, moved from His secret place.

Yet time and time again God lovingly woos me back into His secret place.

Jesus reminds us all in John 15,

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you..”

God is always inviting our souls to break away from the world and remain in Him. But to remain in that secret place, I must make the choice to be with God… staying in His Word, storing it away in my heart and talking to Jesus about anything and everything.

The more we say ‘yes’ to remaining in God’s secret place, the more we will live in expectation of hearing Him. The more we experience Him, the more we’ll trust Him. It all starts with saying no to the pull of the world and saying yes to God’s invitation to remain in Him.

Now remaining in Him doesn’t necessarily mean everything is smooth sailing from that moment on, it just means that you have Jesus in your boat! Jesus the one that despite the storm will get you to the other side.

As a family we felt like we were still reeling from that initial storm, when another storm began brewing on the horizon. Just before Christmas 2021 I was told my breast cancer had returned and I would need an immediate mastectomy. That “C” word seems to come cloaked in uncertainty and fear but in all that cacophony came a whisper that seemed to rise above everything else and with it came His words of love – ‘I’ve got you” ‘Even when you walk through the darkest valley, you don’t need to be afraid for I am close beside you.’ So holding His hand we embarked on that journey, and just this month I got a “clean bill of health” and I am now cancer free, thank you Jesus!

Aaron’s journey is still unfolding and at times it seems like there have been so many losses along the way but together we are committed to abide in His secret place. When we were first married we committed together that “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

I know that many of you are in the eye of the storm right now or there is one brewing on the horizon, or you feel like you are trying to re-build after recent storm damage and my heart cries out for you. The prayer of my heart is that you would find your hiding place, your secret place under the shadow of our beautiful God. That you would remain and abide in His presence. That you would hear His words of love and hope that He speaks over your life.

In the words of Phil Whickham song titled “The Secret Place”

You will not let me go
I know that I am safe inside Your hands
In the fading light when night is breaking
I know You will always be waiting
You’ll always be there
I’m running to the secret place
Where You are, where You are
Better is a moment that I spend with You
Than a million other days away

Dear Jesus, I am so thankful for the secret place, where I can let my soul rest in You. Help me to remain in You above all else. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ps. Bron Edwards

Ps. Bron Edwards

Founding Pastor, Eastlake Church

Bron along with her husband Aaron are the founding pastors of Eastlake. They pioneered leading the church for over 20 years.

She was the creator of Hertime, birthed out of a tin shed. She has created this space for thousands of women to encounter the love of Jesus.

To know Bron is to love her. She is beauty and grace encapsulated and is a faithful warrior woman of God.