Today I sit on a rock outcropping which overlooks an abandoned mill pond. Just where the river spills over the dam, a colony of crayfish have taken up residence in the stones cluttering the river bottom. I don’t usually make habit of watching crayfish. I prefer observing God’s “prettier” critters. But, I have to confess, they’re quite interesting little crustaceans.
I freely admit I’ve never given much consideration to what the little guys eat. Apparently they enjoy dining on rock scum. They slowly creep across the rock, picking scum with their front legs (not their pinchers) and cramming it rapidly into their little mouths. When they feel threatened, they quickly propel themselves backwards, usually into a little crevice in the rocks. They must be very alert to any potential dangers. They must also see very well. Even my shadow on the water sends them scurrying to safety.
Watching the creepy little crayfish sheds some new light on the concept of Jesus as my hiding place, as my rock, and as my refuge. Each crayfish seems to have a hiding place he calls his own… under a stone, or a piece of driftwood, or in the cleft of a rock. He knows exactly where it is and never strays far from it. He quickly runs to it when any danger is near. In his hiding place, he is safe and secure.
“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7) God wants to be my hiding place. He needs me to be on the alert for the potential dangers of temptation. He wants to protect me from trouble and rejoice at my deliverance from sin and temptation and the enemy’s advances. But, like the crayfish, I must never wander too far from my hiding place, and run into it when Satan attacks.
“Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come…” (Psalm 71:3a) God wants to be my rock. He wants me to come home to Him day after day, just like the crayfish continually returns to the rock he calls home.
“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all Your works.” (Psalm 73:28) God wants to be my refuge, my safe haven from the trials and troubles of life. Like the crayfish, I can quickly scurry back to God, the rock of ages cleft for me, because He is always near.