Everyone hides. Everyone has hidden things within their heart and mind.
Sometimes our secrets are truly hidden from others. No one would ever guess. And then sometimes people can read us like a book. They might not know our secret, but they know something’s not right.
Sometimes though the secret pain, the triggers, are hidden even from ourselves. I know what it’s like to watch myself reacting in a manner that’s way over the top for the current circumstance, and yet feel completely helpless to stop myself. Fortunately, through the help of friends, family and professionally trained counselors, I’ve been able to dig deep to understand the root causes. It’s a life long process of healing, this work of sanctification.
I can remember the anxiety I felt as I read this scripture early in my relationship with Christ. My heart shook with fear. The terror within me that He would know everything I’ve ever done, said, and even thought. And worse yet, that I would one day give an account.
I felt as if punishment loomed dark and heavy.
The feelings of shame and fear of punishment at times triggered me toward my standard response. I wanted to hide. I chose, at times, to move myself into isolation.
Shame and fear are liars. Speaking the native tongue of their father, Satan. Hiding and isolation are symptoms of believing these liars. And the results are a downward spiral into despair and anger and all the destructive designs of the evil one.
He didn’t leave me there. In seasons of isolation I continued to read His word. The closest people hugged me and said, “I love you.” I know many simply prayed for my deliverance. A couple of brave souls referred me to professionals. God sent help down into my pit where I believed I could hide and disappear. He never leaves us even when we believe He has.
But then, a wonderful thing happened. Miraculous to me, in God’s timing, He connected a couple of dots. One dot from His word and another from my real life experience.
First dot: I read the life-giving, hope-filled story of the Samaritan woman who visited with Jesus at the well.
Though she was filled with shame and lived a life of hiding from the townspeople, Jesus purposefully chose to sit with her and host a conversation. As a result of their conversation she learned that Jesus knew all of her secrets and yet she was not condemned. In fact, He was offering her forgiveness and eternal life in exchange for her secrets and shame.
Second dot: I remembered a time as a child when I had stolen a peach from the grocery store. I asked my mom to buy me a peach, but she rejected my request. So, I took one and stuffed it in my tiny purse.
At home, I eagerly locked myself in the bathroom to eat the evidence. Delighting in the momentary pleasure, my younger brother knocked on the door. He demanded I let him in because he saw me steal, and if I didn’t let him in to share the spoils he would tell mom!
I complied with his demands and the sweetness turned to a bitter taste of judgment. For days, guilt-ridden, I lived in fear of being punished. Weeks went by, and eventually years, without a scolding or even a reminder from anyone except myself.
As adult children tend to do, one evening my brother and I started telling our mom stories of things we had done as children. Her eyes grew big with disbelief. Laughter filled the room as she listened to our disobedient tales. We couldn’t believe she didn’t know all these stories, and we were in awe that we could have actually gotten away with such mischief.
And then, in that moment of safe sanctuary, in which everyone was telling all and no one was being punished; I finally came clean about the stolen peach. Again her eyes grew big, and I cried. Tears of relief flowed as my deep secret was confessed publicly. It was okay. She had a story too. I wasn’t condemned.
We all have hidden things. God knows, and He wants us to live free. His way is truth, life, love and forgiveness.
Jesus is waiting purposefully to have that conversation so that you can cry tears of relief and recognize His acceptance. With Jesus, there’s no condemnation in our confession. For with Him there are no hidden things.
Eyes on Jesus and Shine,
What response do you have after reading this true story found in John 4?
Would you like to sit in private with Jesus and allow Him to uncover your hidden things?
Perhaps you would like to write your story?
Perhaps invite a trustworthy friend for coffee and share your confession of Jesus and His forgiveness?
Consider Psalm 34:4-5 below.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
Psalms 34:4-5 NIV
Now re-consider the truth of Hebrews 4:13 below. Perhaps take a moment to reflect on your thoughts and feelings.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Are you tempted to hide? Well, that’s shame and comes from Satan, the liar.
Say NO to the lies and shame. Tell Jesus you need His help. Invite a trusted person to help you resist the lies and the liar.
Are you prompted to run to Jesus in freedom because He already knows and loves you. Well, that’s the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Be free, in the forgiving name of Jesus Christ, Redeemer.
I’ve written today inspired by the one word prompt ~ hidden ~ offered by Kate Motaung at Five Minute Friday
Obviously, I didn’t stop at five minutes. This writing flowed easily after five minutes. It’s a healing and encouraging writing for myself and I hope God will use it to help someone else.
Thank you for stopping by.