Post 4, 2018
Last week I visited a friend with two adorable children under 5. During the visit I noticed the two-year old head to the fridge, open the door and hide while attempting to sneak a snack. Her mamma smiled and softly explained her daughter had recently begun helping herself to a snack before lunch. As mom and I talked on, the little one, oblivious to our watchful eyes, walked quietly into the open dining area only feet away. Grasping her piece of cheese she hunkered under the dining table with an occasional turn aside to see if her deeds were still unnoticed. Soon mom turned to her daughter and quietly spoke, “Honey, I don’t mind if you have cheese.” Upon realizing all was well, the toddler quickly came out of her hiding space to join us as she continued to munch.
Shame and guilt always bring separation while God desires reconciliation. Click To Tweet
From the first hint of shame and guilt in the garden, mankind has assumed a holy God reviles us as our rebellion deserves. Certainly Adam and Eve felt that way. Upon discovering their nakedness for the first time, Adam and Eve covered themselves in leaves then hid from God in shame and fear. When they failed to show up for their daily visit, God called their names, and their response immediately alluded to the fact of what they’d done. Their rebellion brought shame and made them incapable of standing before a holy God. And with shame, Adam and Eve wrongfully assumed God would also now shame them, and so ran from rather than to His presence.
However, a holy God never desires us to stay within our shame, so after enacting discipline to bring them to repentance, God slaughtered an animal to picture the slaughter of His Son centuries away, and personally fashioned garments for his beloved children. Even in rebellion, God’s immense love acted to cover their shame and remove their guilt.
True love always strives to cover the guilt and shame of the beloved. Click To Tweet
The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21 (NIV)
Centuries later as Jesus, God’s own Son, realized his death was imminent stood on a hill outside Jerusalem, and looked over the city where He’d soon be beaten, mocked, and then crucified. As His Father did so long ago, He longed to not only cover the guilty shame of His people but eradicate it by the sacrifice of His own blood. Knowing His sacrifice would be rejected by many He cried out:
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. Luke 13:34 (NLT)
Where today are you? Do you continue to hide in your shame, assuming God despises you for your guilt and shame? Or have you run to Him, asking Him to remove its stain for you?
May I please pray for you?
Dear Lord, it’s so easy for me to assume you despise me in my guilty state, and wait for the opportunity to expose and punish me. Yet, I see here you long to cover my shame and guilt rather than expose me further. It seems to says you long to eradicate my shame rather than punish me. Help me to trust the truth in your words. My guilt and shame are great, and I long to find freedom from their torment. Would you make a place for me under your wing? Would you cover me and heal me? Please. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Come rest under God’s covering embrace with me. It’s wide enough for any who choose to shelter there.
…be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:7-8 (NLT)
You may wish to also look at the previous post, “A True Friend” or the next post “Do I Willingly Cover Another’s Shame?“
With much love,
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