Do you have a happy place? A place where you go when hings aren’t right? A place you go when things just don’t make sense. A place you take yourself mentally when you can’t get there physically? What I’m talking about is the place to escape to when life does get tough. A place to retreat to for just a little while until things blow over that are hard. I have a happy place. It’s called Point Mugu.
It’s a place I’ve been to since I was a kid. I’ve gone off and on since the the 80’s. In high school and college, I would escape there whenever I could. When I left California for Michigan, I brought my girlfriend (who later became my wife) there when I came back home to visit. It became her happy.
As you can see, it’s a beautiful place. It is a peaceful place. It is the happy place for many people.
When trouble strikes, when pain hits, when things are going every which way but loose, I wish I could just come and sit on the sands of this beach and listen to the waves just once more.
I did this last week when I visited family out in California. It wasn’t for happy reasons why I came out to visit. My uncle was sick and later passed away last week Tuesday (I wrote a little bit about it here). My family was feeling a lot of pain. I’m an emotional person in many ways. I needed a place to just be. It was close to sunset, and so I raced in my rental car towards Pt. Mugu, my happy place, to sit on the sands of the beach, listen to the waves, and watch the sun dip down below the horizon.
There’s another place I go hide when things aren’t going well. There’s a place I go to when things are bad, when things are hurting, when things are off joint.
King David wrote it well in Psalm 32 when he spoke of being in God’s presence:
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
That night, as I sat on the sand and sea shells which washed ashore, I heard the song of deliverance played by the orchestra of the waves. I sat on the shore of Pt. Mugu, looking at the islands in the background, seeing the last rays of the sun shine through the clouds making brush strokes of dark purple, orange, and yellow, and cried. It wasn’t a sobbing cry. It was a gentle cry. I was hearing the songs of deliverance surrounding me.
David says later in Psalm 34:
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8
I know I don’t need Pt. Mugu to enter into the presence of God. This might sound corny, but all I need is Jesus. It is through Jesus that I can enter into the presence of God. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that I am led to do so. Through the Holy Spirit dwelling in me, I myself am able to be in the presence of God daily. I am able to take refuge in Him, hide in Him, find my comfort in Him (a comfort of body and soul in life and in death). He is night tied down to any one location like Pt. Mugu is. He is not tied down anywhere. Instead He is approachable from anywhere.
You can’t tie down God.
You can enter into His presence daily.
You can find refuge and hide in Him daily.
When things are tough, when things are bad, when things feel like they’re going every which way but loose, you can enter into your happy place. That’s what it’s there for. But that happy place (real or imagined) is tied down to one place and one place only. God isn’t. And He’s greater, more powerful than any of the waves that washed onto shore that night. He’s greater than the whole Pacific Ocean itself. He was, He is, and He will always be. And in that assurance you can take refuge, you can find a hiding place when things are topsy turvy in life. I know I do.