Are You Hiding?
HIDE: to put out of sight, to conceal for shelter or protection, to keep secret, to screen from or as if from view, to turn (the eyes or face) away in shame or anger.
There are many reasons why people hide. I have five grandchildren, and one of my granddaughters tries to hide by simply covering her eyes 😊! She stands in the middle of the room, pulls her forearm across her face and believes that she is hiding from her parents. My oldest grandson, however, is a bit more skilled in his hiding. He loves to hide … simply because he can 😊. Finn is four years old and a little bit like lightening in a bottle – smart, super quick and if he ever gets loose … a mess of trouble. A few weeks ago in Sunday School, he hid from his brand spanking new teacher.
We need adult volunteers in our children’s ministry in a BIG WAY! Our church is mostly made up of young married couples, and our children’s ministry is big. Actually, it is ridiculously big! On any given Sunday we have a couple of hundred 1-4 year-old’s! Whew! We do try to treat our volunteers like royalty, simply because we desperately need them to come back 😊. Well this particular Sunday it was my oldest grandson that nearly caused us to lose one.
Finn was in a room with a dozen or so four year-old’s when he “slipped away” un-noticed into one of the room’s cupboards. The teacher had been happily “rocking along” when she suddenly realized that she was missing a kid. She looked everywhere, but could not find him. In a panic she paged the Children’s Ministry supervisor, “Help, I’ve lost one!” Tears followed, I assume, but I wasn’t there. The well-seasoned and battle-weary 11:00 a.m. service supervisor calmly asked, “Who is missing?” The new teacher exclaimed, “Finn!” The supervisor responded with one of those “all-knowing” smiles, walked right into the classroom and began to look for him. She went straight to the cabinets. One-by-one, she opened a cabinet to look inside. Eventually, she opened the one in which Finn was hiding. Finn jumped out and yelled, “Boo!” I’m sure that relief and joy filled the room, and maybe some desire to string Finn up by his buster browns too! So, for all of you who work in your church’s children ministry, I offer my heartfelt thanks! Thank you for loving the next generation of Gospel shakers and movers. I believe that God will place an extra jewel in your crown one day 😊!
From the beginning of time humans have been hiding. In the Garden of Eden, soon after Adam and Eve sinned, the hiding began.
I love the creation story in Genesis, so please allow me a momentary rabbit trail or two. First and foremost, “Why eat the apple, people?” I could understand it if it had been a doughnut, or a Godiva chocolate truffle, but an apple?! Was that five-calorie bite worth a lifetime of toil for men and pain in childbirth for women? And all the people gave a resounding, “NO!”
I also can’t stop myself from thinking about that ancient mystery, “Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?” Because they were never in a womb, they did not need an umbilical cord. So, they shouldn’t have needed a belly button. But the Bible says nothing about this. Perhaps because God knew that everyone else would eventually have one, He gave Adam and Eve belly buttons “for show!” Perhaps God didn’t want Adam and Eve to feel bad about looking different from everyone else. These are two of the many things I will ask about when I arrive in Heaven 😊!
Now my mind wonders over to the big question of today’s post, “Why did Adam and Eve think they could hide from God?”
A simple recount of the story: Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden Tree of Knowledge of good and evil; they were overcome with shame; they realized that they were naked; they made clothes out of leaves and then hid from God instead of walking with Him in the cool of the evening like what was normal (Genesis 3:8). What a silly thing to do – try to hide from the Creator of everything! Silly humans! Adam and Eve were ashamed of their disobedience (enter the word, “sin”), but all they knew to do was to hide. How could they face a pure, loving and righteous God with their blatant disobedience?
I wonder about the futility of Adam and Eve hiding from God.
I then wonder about myself and other people in my life who think they are successfully hiding from God.
Why do we think we can hide from God? And why would we want to? In the Garden story, when God finds Adam and Eve, He makes them clothes (Genesis 3:21) and continues to love them even after he disciplines them (Genesis 3: 15-18). God remains on their side. God is a loving God. He foreknew their sin nature, even before Adam and Eve came to terms with their own sin. He knows my sin nature and your sin nature too! And just like Adam and Eve, we have no need to hide!
But yet, we do. We hide. Too many times I have heard people say, “When I get my life back together I will pray again and go back to church.” These people are choosing to hide from God. They are forgetting that they are naked and need God to clothe them. They are attempting to fix themselves instead of being dependent on God and allow His Spirit to convict and strengthen them to be able to resist the devil. Why do we always think that we can handle life better than God can?
We do the same thing in our marriages. We believe that we can hide our sin from our spouse. We fool ourselves into thinking that our sin is not affecting anyone but us. But this could not be further from the truth! If I think that I am getting away with something, the only person I am fooling is myself. Our spouses know; even if they do not know the details, they recognize when something is coming between us. And God always knows! That is why we call him, OMNISCIENT (Psalms 147:5) – He is all knowing! Come out from hiding, dear readers. Trust that your spouse meant their vow of, “For better and for worse.” Sin is one of those worst circumstances. Walk up to your spouse and come clean. Let them know what parts of your life are too scary to deal with and which sins are beating you today. Then grab your spouse’s hand and ask him or her to pray with you. Drop to your knees and confess again; this time to God, and as a married couple committed to holding each other accountable to Holiness. With God in your marriage, there is no sin that you cannot defeat, so long as it is not hidden and is brought out into the open. This is a benefit of a Christian marriage.
WHAT HIDING DOESN’T DO:
What hiding doesn’t do is relieve your burden or make you feel better. Instead, hiding from the truth makes the burden feel unbeatable. Hiding magnifies the power of the sin you are hiding from. Remember that hiding does not erase the sin, but instead gives the sin increased control. In His counter culture way, Jesus says “Confess your sins one to another.” (James 5:16) He says this not because He wants your life to be tough, but because He wants to make your life easier! He truly understands sin because He has defeated it! (1 Peter 3:18, Romans 6:23)
WHAT CONFESSION DOES DO:
If you have never done this, you will be amazed at how freeing the confessing of sin is! You will feel as if you can fly! You will feel forgiven, clean and without worry. God will faithfully swap the shame you now feel with RADIANT JOY. (Psalms 34:5) You will bask in the grace that God and hopefully your forgiving spouse will bestow upon you! John 8:31-32 applies here too – “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”’ Jesus was speaking about a truth about the Gospel that God’s grace, through Jesus, saves you from the consequence of your sin. This is true in your marriage too! God commands your Christian spouse to forgive you and to extend grace to you. And when your spouse does this, your marriage relationship is restored. This is not just good news, it is GREAT NEWS! I know this is why marriage and the relationship between Christ and us, His church, are similar… a profound mystery!
So, are you hiding a sin from God? If so, confess it! Are you hiding something from your spouse? If so, confess it! Allow the healing power of forgiveness and grace to set you back on the right path – a righteous path 😊! Don’t wait another minute.
Keep reading friends, and stay washed in the Word and in fellowship with God through His spirit!
Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
You know everything I do;
from far away you understand all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am working or resting;
You know all my actions.
Even before I speak,
You already know what I will say (Psalms 139:1-4).