She didn’t look well. She talked about her week while avoiding my eyes. Something was up. She was hiding. I could tell.
And then, out it poured like a thunderhead bursting. The shame. The guilt. The thing she did that she vowed she wouldn’t do again because she wants to follow the Lord, not just believe in Him. She cried all the way home, she told me, because how could she do it again? How could she allow herself to fall in this way—again? And how can she get back up this time?
She has been hiding for a week to cover herself. And the layers of lies compile.
For the wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23
“You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17
We are free people in God—free to choose whatever we want. And we want—so—much. What we most want is to make the rules but that’s the one thing we can’t do. We can do whatever we want but the rules stay the same forever. The rules apply to all. So why are we surprised when we make choices that end painfully? I’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. That’s what we do when we live life against God’s way. We expect good but we don’t get it. We get death—of some sort. And worse?
We try to hide our naked shame and guilt just like Adam and Eve with the leaves. We hide from God, we hide from others, and we try to hide from ourselves.
We hide behind smiles and lies. We stuff down with food and alcohol and drugs. We busy ourselves to run from our thoughts. We are so creative in coming up with ways to hide and stuff our pain away into deep, dark soul fractures. We create hiding places—lonely spaces—where we wither and die—alone.
God knows this. God knows our sinful tendencies and He offers a way out of the hiding places.
He’s right there when we choose against Him. He knows what we’re doing.
He’s right there when we run from Him. He knows where we’re going.
He’s right there while we suffer in hiding places. And He calls out our name! Our NAME!
He comes looking for us when He already knows where we are! He comes looking for us when He already knows what we did! He paid for our release with His own blood and He wants us to be free RIGHT NOW to come back into His presence. He is calling us back. Will we respond? Will we let Him cover us again and bring us back into His embrace?
Confession and repentance. Admitting we’ve chosen the wrong way and that it has caused damage to ourselves, to others, to God. That’s confession. Desiring to walk in the way of God, with Him as Lord of our lives—not just copilot. That’s repentance. Can we confess and repent?
Not without humility. And humility is the hardest thing of all because it stands up strongest against the greatest sin of all—PRIDE. But when we’re willing to not be proud—when we’re willing to admit our sin and weakness—when we’re ready to be found—healing comes because we let Him into our hiding places and He brings us out renewed, not to shame but to BLESS!
We prayed together after the confession and repentance ushered in by humility. We’re not so different, she and I. Our sins are different, but our hearts are the same. We prayed a prayer of confession and repentance. We prayed for God to cover us and make us whole once again. We prayed thanks for love so great that He died for us—for this sin of today. And we sincerely want to move out of our hiding places, our sin-filled spaces, and walk on in the light of His love. We want to bear fruit that will last.
She left lighter. I left touched to be heart-to-heart, human-to-human vulnerable and humble. We both left accepted and loved—by each other—and by our all-loving God.
The prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:15-16
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. 1 John 1:9-10