Podcast Episode 4 - A Secret Pavilion

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Welcome to Jen’s New Song

My name is Jennifer Holmes and this is a podcast for those struggling with their mental health.  Whether that means you’re struggling with depression or other mental illness, or you’re just going through a difficult season and need some help remembering who God is, this podcast is for you.  

Right now we are working our way through a series on the Psalms and looking at how the psalmists weren’t afraid to tell God exactly how they felt, but at the end of the psalm, they reminded themselves of what they knew to be true about God.  Even if they didn’t feel that way at that moment, they still reminded themselves of the truth.  That’s exactly what I need to do in my life today, and maybe you do too.

My goals for this podcast are for you to feel as though you’re not alone, for us to be able to talk about the hard things, and to be able to honestly cry out to God with our difficult emotions.  But I don’t want us to stay there.  We don’t have to live in defeat.  We can begin to renew our minds through the word of God.

Join me for today’s look at Psalm 27.

In our last episode, we talked about being slandered or forsaken by people that you love.  But more importantly we looked at how God had built a pavilion, a secret place for those who needed to run away to Him.  Those situations definitely make me feel like running away to God.  But that’s not the only time I wish for a secret pavilion.  

There are so many times in life that I would love to run away.  Sometimes it’s overwhelm, sometimes it’s fear, sometimes I just don’t want to deal with the trouble that’s surrounding me.  It’s in these times that I forget my joy, I forget how to sing, I forget how to dwell in the presence of God.  I think David felt all those things when he wrote Psalm 27. He gives us clues in the psalm that he’s feeling this way, that he feels the need to run to God, but the best part?  That’s exactly what he does.  He just runs to God.  He tells us about his fear, but tells us what he’s going to do about it.  He has a plan.  One we can learn from.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

He is surrounded, he has reason to be afraid, but he’s not giving into it.  Why?  How can he have this confidence?  His secret is found in the next verses.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

This word pavilion keeps jumping out at me.  I imagine a beautiful tent.  But not just that, its one that God has created just for David.  And I like to imagine that He has created one just for me too.  What a beautiful thought, that God has a special place just for me where He protects me and shelters me. It’s somewhere I can run whenever I need to get away.

David’s confidence in his trouble was not his own strength.  It was not a can do attitude.  It was not that he felt he could pull himself up by his bootstraps and get through whatever he needed to.  

His confidence was that he could run away.  That His God would welcome him, protect him.  Not only was David confident that his God would welcome him this way, he decided to seek after it.  His goal in the middle of trouble was to focus not on the problem, but on his God.  In the middle of trouble, he didn’t try to figure out what to do, he sought God, he dwelled on his salvation, he took time to behold the beauty of the Lord.

And when he did that, this was the result…

And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.

He found his song.  There in that secret pavilion, when he dwelled in the presence of the Lord, he knew that he would be able to sing again.  He had complete and utter confidence in his God, that God would hear him, that when he sought the Lord, He could be found.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.

had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

I love that line, I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord.  How many times do I forget to seek the Lord, to look for His beauty, to dwell in his presence.  It’s then that I start to faint.  Its then I stop believing.  

I know from the Psalms that the same thing often happened to David.  But he gives us a peak into his sermon to himself this time.  He had a plan.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by life today?  Do you feel like you might faint, might give up?  We all have those days, it’s how we deal with them that makes all the difference.

Make a plan.  Actually, you don’t even have to make a plan, you can just use David’s.  Run.  Run to the pavilion.  Seek God’s face there.  Ask your questions, cry your tears, beg God for what you need.  Dwell on your salvation instead of the fear.  Know that God hears you.  That His ear is bent down to listen.  Sing, sing the goodness of the God who meets you every time.  And finally, wait.  When we seek God, spend time in His presence, he will strengthen our hearts.  What a relief- I don’t have to strengthen my own heart.  I just have to dwell in His presence and He will give me the courage I need.

I hope that you’re as amazed by this idea as I am - God has a secret pavilion just for you.  A place where just the two of you meet.  Where He shelters you, protects you, gives you the strength to go on.  A place where you can sing again, even if you never thought that might happen.  What a good God our God is.

Thank you for joining me today.  If you would like more daily encouragement, follow me on Instagram or Facebook @jensnewsong.  If you hit the subscribe button on your listening app, you won’t miss an episode.  And I’d love it if you’d allow me the privilege to send you a newsletter - it’s full of encouraging articles, the latest news about what’s happening here and on the blog, and it’s one of my favourite places to chat with my listeners and readers.  You can sign up today at jensnewsong.com/join As always, all this information is in the show notes for you.  I wrote this prayer, maybe you would like to adopt it as your own?

Dear God,

What a privilege it is to come into your presence.  Not just to come into your presence as if you were some ruler or deity devoid of grace, but as a personal God who created this space, this pavilion just for me.  A protection and covering where you invite me in and give me my song back.  Thank you for loving me, for giving me courage.  Please remind me daily of your beauty and your love for me.  Help me to be drawn back to this pavilion over and over again.  Guide my wandering heart.