The Secret Place

Tuesday, November 6, 2012
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Psalm 91:1-2 – He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! (AMP)

Have you considered what "the secret place of the Most High" could be?

Last year a colleague gave me a copy of the little book, The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, who was a seventeenth-century French Carmelite monk. His correspondence and conversations were later compiled into this book by Father Joseph de Beaufort. Reading it led me to understand some connections between what Brother Lawrence called the presence of God and what I have come to regard as "the secret place of the Most High".

Here are selections from three paragraphs of the second letter Brother Lawrence wrote to his Superior:

    I keep myself by a simple attention, and a general fond regard to God, which I may call an actual presence of God; or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God, which often causes me joys and raptures inwardly … I consider myself before God, whom I behold as my King. … The King, full of mercy and goodness … embraces me with love … converses and delights Himself with me incessantly … and treats me in all respects as His favourite. … [There is an] inexpressible sweetness which I taste and experience there.

In response to reading the book and trying out what Brother Lawrence described, I sought a key to entering into the presence of God. I settled on the essential belief and thought stated at the end of today's Scripture verses: the necessity of confident trust.

After some time, I gave a name to "the secret place of the Most High" or "the presence of God". I began to think of it as "my trust bubble". When I open my soul with the choice of trusting that God is with me and in conversation, life takes on the sweet richness described by Brother Lawrence. From inside my trust bubble, in the presence of God, the scariest facts of life matter little; they are overshadowed by His love.

When things seem to go wrong, I check to see whether I have slipped away from trusting God. Often, I find I have. However, my trust bubble can be reinstated at will. Worshipping God, thanking God, or asking Him for help all let me feel close to Him again and back inside my trust bubble.

May I recommend silent, secret conversation of the soul with God, who embraces each of us with love and treats us as favourites?

Prayer: Father, our hearts sing with joy and thanks at the knowledge of the redemptive work of Christ. In Christ, we are permitted bold access to Your throne of grace! Help us to inhabit with confident trust the secret place of the Most High — Your presence. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen.

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Pat Bell <>
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

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