• Sydney Ehmke

Hide & Seek

Rule #51: You can't beat Jesus at this game.

“The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.  You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.”  Psalms 51:17 (CSB)

One of the greatest gifts God has given his children is the complexity and uniqueness of our personalities. While we may have similar traits, there is not another you in this world!  Unfortunately, one of the not-so-lovely traits that I have pinpointed on myself is stubbornness. Daily, I have to lay down the fact that, “Syd, you are not always right.” That’s the easy part. The difficult part is recognizing when I am in the wrong and need to ask for forgiveness. It’s easy to do something in secret and think to myself… “My friend doesn’t know I shared some gossip about them, why should I apologize if I won’t get caught?”  “My partner doesn’t know I was making eyes at another person, it would only hurt them if they knew.”  “I may have yelled at my coworker and said some harsh things, but I don’t feel bad because it got the job done.”  Sometimes I play this game with God too. I’ll try to justify my sin and act like I don’t need forgiveness or simply play off the fact that he loves me and I can quickly repent and move on with my life.  Let me point out some LOL’s about the above statement.            1. If we’re justifying our sinful nature, that should probably be the first clue something is not right - we’re hiding.            2. This is the Creator of the Universe than we’re trying to con. Trust me on this one, it never seems to work out and Jesus always finds a way to lovingly creep into my heart until I purge all the darkness, guilt, and justifications.  This happened last week after a temptation slip-up. “Whoops! Sorry God, won’t happen again.” I prayed after the fact, but did I really mean it?  Days passed after that prayer but for some reason, my heart kept feeling tugs. I ignored them but they continued to creep back after brushing them off.  It became quite annoying, actually. You know when you spray weed killer and that one dandelion continues to pop up? Or when the check engine light sporadically comes on and won’t leave you alone?  THAT kind of annoyance. Small enough to roll your eyes, but big enough to pester you until something is done.  Would you like to know what it was? It was Jesus wanting my whole heart, not some of it. 

“The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.  You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.”  Psalms 51:17 (CSB) 

In 2 Samuel 11-12, King David slept Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, a soldier in battle. Not only had he slept with his soldier’s wife, but he also commissioned Uriah to the front lines so that he may die and take Bathsheba for himself. In Psalms 51, he confronted his sin and pleaded for God to forgive him. (If you have time, I encourage reading the full chapter.)  For me, Psalms 51:17 is a sweet reminder that God doesn’t want us to simply “do better” the next time around. That’s an act of good work. While good works are good, turning over your heart is greater.  After reading the verse I still didn’t feel completely sound, which led me to read the full chapter. David asked for God’s grace according to his faithful love and compassion so he may blot out his rebellion. He asked not only for forgiveness but for his guilt to also be washed away (51:1-2). He asked for his crushed bones to rejoice (51:8). He asked for a renewed steadfast spirit within him (51:10).  I prayed these verses over my heart. I could feel that annoying dandelion being plucked for good and the check engine light shutting off. Despite our stubbornness, despite our hiding, despite our sad attempts to con the one who made us… He still gazes down with tender eyes waiting for his sons and daughters to start a conversation. He still loves us deeply.  He still wants our hearts.  For Your Reflection… What in your heart are you trying to hide from God? (Spoiler alert - he already knows!) May I encourage you with this - even if it’s an ongoing struggle that you cannot completely lay down, he still wants to talk. I am confident in his ability to work through it with you, even if you don’t get it right the first, second, or third time. Who are you hiding from that may need an apology?

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The mission of ECHOES OF HOPE is to move individuals toward emotional and spiritual health through the knowledge that God is speaking in our world today, offering hope through His son, Jesus Christ.

 

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