“If a person hides himself in secret places, will I not see him?” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 23:24 (ISV)
One of the phrases I find myself saying often in my counseling practice is, “You cannot push something down far enough that it ever goes away. Eventually, it explodes all over your life, usually at the most inopportune time.” While this is absolutely true, most people (myself included at times) still try it as a means of coping.
It looks a little something like this…
Maybe if we deny our hurt and anger by our loved one’s choices the pain will go away… push it down.
Maybe if we smile and say, “God is good,” when our marriage is falling apart but refuse to seek help, we will just wake up to a happy home one-day and all will be well… push it down.
Maybe if we refuse to acknowledge the abuse from our childhood ever happened it will eventually just become a bad dream… push it down.
Maybe if we ignore the signs of addiction in our friend’s life it won’t be true… push it down.
I could go on and on with scenarios of how we “push it down” and try to go underground with our true feelings, but my guess is you already know because you do it or have done it yourself at some point.
I don’t point this out to shame you or make you feel bad, but to remind you that Scripture tells us there is a better way.
The above verse from Jeremiah points out what we as Christ-followers so easily forget… there is no place we can hide from God. He not only sees everything that is happening in our lives at any given moment, but he also knows our thoughts.
David relays it best in Psalm 139.
“Lord, you have examined me; you have known me. You know when I rest
and when I am active.
You understand what I am thinking when I am distant from you.”
Psalm 139:1-2 (NIV)
“Where can I flee from your spirit?
Or where will I run from your presence? If I rise to heaven, there you are! If I lay down with the dead,there you are!
If I take wings with the dawn and settle down on the western horizon
your hand will guide me there, too, while your right hand keeps a firm grip on me.
If I say, ‘Darkness will surely conceal me, and the light around me will become night,’ even darkness isn’t dark to you,
darkness and light are the same to you.”
Psalm 139:7-12 (NIV)
“Examine me, God, and know my mind,
test me, and know my thoughts.”
Psalm 139:23 (NIV)
If these verses are true, and I believe they are, then why do we try to so hard to hide our true feelings from the only one who can bring us help and peace?
My guess, based on personal and professional experience, is because we’re afraid of what might happen if we get honest about our feelings.
If we acknowledge we’re hurt or angry with someone, then we may have to actually have a painful conversation. Ugh, who wants to do that! If we stop hiding behind Christian clichés and allow ourselves to see the brokenness in our homes, we may have to take hard steps towards help. If we acknowledge our past abuse, then we may have to wrestle with heartbreaking questions like, “Where were you God and why didn’t you protect me?”
Does any of this sound like fun?
No, none of the steps we have to take towards emotional and spiritual health are easy, but the promise is we don’t have to go alone. We have a Savior who reminds us over and over and over again throughout the whole of Scripture, “I will never leave you or abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV).
Maybe today is the day to start believing in his faithfulness.
For Your Reflection…
What are you trying to hide from God?
Jeremiah and David are clear that God already knows, so what if instead of hiding, you brought your struggle out in the open and talked to him about it?