“That is what sin does. It separates us from God and each other. It is the dividing wedge in every relationship and is the reason that society is divided and disconnected. Sin is ‘me-first.'” (How Jesus Saves, pg 27)
We had ourselves an enlightening little scare a while back. We had come home from another long day to find a bottle of pills lying on our sofa. It was chewed, and empty. We have three dogs and the oldest was on steroids to help combat the symptoms of a brain tumor. The youngest liked to jump up onto the counter and find things to chew to show his displeasure. This time, he found the older dog’s medications.
When we arrived home, he had that look on his face – actually his whole body – that said he had done something wrong. It was then we saw the bottle. Monte, our (at the time) 2-year-old pure bred mutt, likes to run into our bedroom and hide under the covers, which he promptly did. We called the animal care center and they said we needed to bring him in immediately. All Monte wanted to do was to hide from the consequences of his actions. He felt safe under the covers. We wanted to make sure he lived, and knew he wasn’t safe. Don’t we too often do the same thing with God?
When Adam and Eve rebelled against God in the Garden of Eden, they covered themselves with fig leaves. They knew that wasn’t sufficient so since there were no covers to hide under, they hid among the trees. They were trying to escape the consequences of their sin. They hid from God and put distance between him and them when they should have been running to God to fix the problem. Later, Adam would throw Eve under the bus and point the finger at God in an effort to hide, “It was the woman, You put here with me!”
Because we are very aware of our sin and failure, and at the same time are at least relatively ignorant of God’s character and heart, we try to hide our sin and we wind up hiding from God. Those unresolved wounds begin to fester under the surface and eat away at our heart stealing our joy, killing our heart, and destroying our relationship with our heavenly Father. It takes an act of faith to stand before God uncovered with your face to the ground – mourning your spiritual poverty and guilt – and trusting him to cover you with that which you cannot earn: mercy and grace through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Our desire to go our own way and seek to do what’s best for us, we neglect or even offend others. That selfishness, even when it’s self-preservation rather than manipulation, causes division in our relationships. When I’m looking out for my best interest – or even for my own safety – I can’t keep your best interest in mind.
Had we not found Monte and got him to the puppy E.R., he could have died. If we do not come out of hiding, trust God, and open ourselves up to the Great Physician we too will die. Hiding our guilt and shame through avoidance or by diminishing the severity of our sin only hurts us. There is freedom in confession and healing in surrender. What is burdening your heart today? What have you been hiding through neglect or vagueness? Take that step toward God and let him heal your heart.