We all have moments when the pain of failure is so intense we want to curl up in a little ball and disappear. The question is,
where do you run when you want to hide?
Did you ever play hide and seek when you were younger? I have three siblings and a half-acre of farm property with a two story barn, large pine trees, a garden with tall standing corn, a weeping willow tree whose branches touched the ground and hundreds of other fantastic hiding places. Regardless of how many choices, if I found one that worked, I would stick with it, until it stopped working. Every time we played, I would run to my tried and true hiding place because I knew I would not be found there.
Sometimes we adopt that same mindset spiritually. When we are struggling, we want to find some place safe, some place where we can hide from the world or the reality of our failure.
Can I make this assumption?
Lust is simply a hiding place.
For so many of us, our journeys into lust began as a search for a place to hide. Like Lucy wandering into the wardrobe and finding the mystical land of Narnia, we wandered into a safe place to find a world of mystery and danger on the other side. It takes different forms for each of us. For some, the deep dark tunnels of pornography are a ‘safe place.’ Others find refuge and peace within the playful, flowing limbs of fantasy.
Lust becomes our escape. When life chases after us, wearing down on our hearts and minds, we run to the ‘acceptance’ of cybering/sexting. We ‘escape’ to the second life we live in pornography. We run to the chemicals of an orgasm to relieve our stress, or we just pretend it all isn’t real and run to a place where life is perfect and Prince Charming is there to romance us.
But we can’t live life hiding.
As reliable as these hiding places may seem, we can’t live our lives there. But, we try. We come out come out wherever we are for an occassional peek at the world around us. We function as long as we are required to function and then retreat to our tried-and-true place of refuge.
Lust isn’t the only hiding place we run to. We may be on the path of freedom from lust and still hiding from God.
Maybe you’re the one who understands that lust isn’t a valid hiding place. You get that, but on this road of freedom, there are still times you want to hide. Where do you run then?
Me? Well, I’m guilty of just running. I can push people away who are close to me and punch a couple pillows and spend days in my own version of solitary confinement. It is enough for me to shut my emotional doors and hide “in plain sight” so to speak. That, or I run to Facebook or the nearest friend who is unfortunate enough to ask me how life is at the moment.
There is a better way. A much much MUCH better way.
God wants to be our hiding place.
I am constantly amazed at how often God reminds us that He is aware of our human-ness. This month in school, our Scripture memory is Psalm 103:9-15. The whole passage is talking about the mercy and goodness of God and how He doesn’t in fact, chase after us with lightning bolts but instead shows pity on us. Why? Because He knows we are human! Read it yourself:
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame, he remembereth we are dust.”
Our how about the different times we are told that He understands us, that He is acquainted with our griefs, that He was tempted just like we are. He gets what it means to be human! What does that mean for us?
We don’t have to hide from God. For that matter, we can’t hide from God. Still, we try.
It’s in our nature to run from God. Adam started it. There is so much grace and mercy found in the first 3 chapters of Genesis, for another post another time, but even in Eden, Adam ran and hid in the garden. Hid from God. An all-knowing, all-seeing, all-present God. In a garden God created. He wasn’t hiding anything from anyone, and neither are we.
God longs for intimacy with us He shows that in Genesis. He shows that on Calvary. Calvary was not a last-ditch attempt at saving you from Hell. Calvary was the ultimate sacrifice to bring you back home. The message of Calvary is, in fact, “You don’t have to hide! You don’t have to face this alone. You don’t have to run from Me. Yes, I am holy and no, you are not but I am bridging that gap. There is mercy and grace and love here, please please please come home.” That is Calvary.
Why do we want to hide from that?
“How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings” Psalm 36:7