It was barely 5 am when a furry face nudged mine. I roused slightly and snuggled deeper into the covers. I was almost asleep again when a rough little tongue licked my face. Still not willing to get up, I pulled the covers over my head.
When Maggie began to pat me repeatedly with her paw, despite the covers pulled snug, an odd thought floated through my mind.
That odd phrase echoed in my head as I shuffled downstairs to let the dogs out for their morning business. Do we try to hide from God? Yes. I believe we do.
We may not call it hiding, but we certainly try to evade His persistent call. We've all had those moments when life slams us in the face and we find it agonizingly hard to bear.
Betrayal that requires forgiveness.
The call to service that requires obedience.
A stonghold that needs to be shattered.
Habits that need to be broken.
Desires that must be surrendered.
God's call is to freedom, wholeness, healing. Sometimes, though, the cost of achieving His lofty goals seems far too high. We're willing to settle for less to avoid the price.
Instead of offering forgiveness, we take our seat in church, paste on a smile, and hold our anger tight, as if God can't see what we've hidden.
Instead of hard service, we choose the easier path and pretend an unending string of good deeds offsets the call to deeper obedience.
Instead of allowing God access to our strongholds, we hold them close and call them unbreakable. We take "I can't" as our mantra, and ignore the fact that God can.
Instead of allowing God to help us break our unhealthy, unwise habits, we pretend they're harmless and that we "deserve" them.
Instead of surrendering our ungodly desires, we grab them and hold on tight, as if God's desires for us weren't higher, better, more deeply satisfying.
Why do we choose something less than God's best for us? Because we don't believe what He offers is better than what we want.
That's a hard word, isn't it?
We hide from the true and perfect light of God, which (according to John 1) enlightens every man, including us. We're comfortable in a little darkness, and we want to stay there. Staying comfortable in the dimness just out of the God-light might even require us to progress past disobedience into denial.
If we say there is no God, we don't have to worry about Him anymore, right? Wrong. Our all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing God is not thwarted by our words or our claims.
Hagar in the desert learned, even there, the God who sees could still see her. (Genesis 16)
David spent years running for his life from a crazed king who was determined to kill him, yet, no matter where he ran, God was still with him. (Psalm 139)
His words attest to the truth we often want to ignore.
"Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend to heaven, Thou art there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, Thou art there...Even there Thy hand will lead me, and Thy right hand will take hold of me..." Psalm 139:7,8,10
Why do we kid ourselves into thinking we can deceive this God Who is where we are? Who sees all?
He knows all, and we can't hide a thing. Not our sin, our unforgiveness, or our chains.
What's amazing to me is that He still loves me, despite my failed hide-and-seek. He still loves us anyway, and He has a plan that's good.
Today, let's examine our own hearts and look for that which we have tried to hide, if only from ourselves. Let's allow God to clean us out and break our chains.
Embrace His plan, even when hard, and hang on, for the adventure of a lifetime waits for our surrender. We can have God's plan, if we will, but we must abandon our own for His first.
Is it worth the price? Yes, it is, so let go and embrace our Father who loves us, and receive all He has for us.
"For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
In case you missed it, here's the link to the most recent post: When Your Plan Isn't Working and World Won't Cooperate
Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash