Pins And Needles

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Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. 
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.  Psalm 32:1-5                                                  

Insight

I don't like to brag, but I am a hide and seek grandmaster who can go undetected by his pursuers. For instance, when my kids were younger, we were engaged in an intense game, and it was my turn to get lost. So, into the broom closet I went, wedged between a vacuum cleaner, ironing board, and some other clutter. I twisted my body into a pretzel, placed a jacket over me, and waited, and waited, and waited some more. 

Being a sleep-deprived father of toddlers, I nodded off while waiting for my girls to find me. Eventually, I woke up to the feelings of not only numb arms but pins and needles in my legs. I dragged myself out of the closet, with every muscle in my body aching and in need of aspirin. Little did I know I had been asleep for two hours. My girls got distracted in their search, had snack time and then their mom put them down for their own nap.

I learned a valuable lesson that day: hiding hurts. In today's passage, we get a glimpse into the damage hidden sin causes our heart.  The author's body wasted away groaning all day long. His strength disappeared as he attempted to carry the burden he was feeling. He was weak, miserable and stricken with grief. 

Rather than confession, we often engage in sin management. We rationalize, justify and try to explain away in an attempt to manage the unmanageable. When there is sin in our lives, we want nothing more than to be left alone and do everything possible to hide our struggles. Sadly, hiding not only erodes our relationship with God but damages our relationship with others as well.

We go crazy attempting to keep up this charade. We distance ourselves. We grow defensive. This juggling act can only go on for so long until one of the balls finally drops. If our heart and soul are not designed to bear sin, how do we reconcile this with our desire to manage our sin?

Our lives depend on getting found. There is no healing in hiding. To come out of hiding means to stop trying to cover our faults and sins. Only when we ask God to forgive our sins will we experience real joy, relief and freedom from our guilt. Repentance is a statement of fact and an acceptance of responsibility. It requires throwing ourselves before God and asking for His already promised and already demonstrated mercy. What will it take for us to stop hiding our brokenness from God and allow repentance to rise?

Reflection

  • Where are you hiding your brokenness? How is this hiding influencing your relationships and your intimacy with God?

Prayer 

God, for far too long, I have refused to be honest with the places in my heart where disobedience reigns. The weight of this burden has stunted my growth and staled my pursuit of You. Let today be the day I come out of hiding. May I stop excusing or justifying my behavior and finally be honest about my actions. Thank you for covering my sin and extending to me mercy I do not deserve. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.

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