Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 22 November 2016

 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  Hebrews 4, verse 13.

This is a season of struggling.  The holidays shouldn’t be that way, I know, but I find myself emotionally struggling this year.  Job stress, money woes, heavy schedule, health worries, family busy-ness, personal issues:  I feel tapped out, like I could use a really good cry.  I know I’m not the only one.   Just this morning I talked with someone else who’s feeling pressured and struggling as well.   Yeah, it’s a symptom of sin; got skin got sin got problems.   All true, but let’s not pig-pile more onto the situation; there’ll be time to have that talk later.   For now, I’ll say that I’m struggling.   You might be as well.

God knows all of it.   Nothing about it is hidden from Him.  He understands that I’m depressed and hurting inside and that I feel like the world is beating me up right now.   He understands that you’re juggling so many things and sometimes feel like the walls are closing in on you.   God knows all of what you’re feeling because, like verse 13 says, nothing in creation is hidden from God’s sight.   He sees into our thoughts the same way He sees every leaf fall from every tree.

You can’t run away from your problems and you can’t run away from God.  When God told Jonah to go preach repentance in Ninevah, Jonah got scared and tried to run.   That only delayed facing the problem Jonah needed to face.   But he found he couldn’t run away from God.   Wherever Jonah went, whether in the port, on the boat, in the fish, or finally in Ninevah, Jonah learned that God was with him.

Thinking about that, perhaps the problem that Jonah had to address wasn’t the sinful people of Ninevah.   Maybe it was a little closer to home.  After all, the author of Hebrews would one day comment on the obvious:  everything is uncovered and laid bare before God.   We and we alone are responsible for the things we think, say, and do.   Sure, we can find ourselves swept up in things beyond our control.   Or sometimes others seem to force us to do things we might not otherwise do.   Or sometimes bad things happen around us.   Yet there’s just no denying that, whatever your pet sin might be, you and I alone are responsible for stepping over the line and into something that displeases God.   We own our sins, and God can see all of them.   He insists we be responsible for them, that we answer for them when He says “what do you have to say about all that.”   That question will come at the end of every human life.  How will you answer?

You can answer “I believe in Your Light, Lord.”   The light will shine on you then because He shines on you now.   Don’t forget the verse from Daniel, where it is said that God “reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him.”   Yes, God sees and knows everything and, yes, He sees our hidden sins, our buried guilt, and our not-so-buried worries and cares.   Yes He does and will demand we, as mature adults, accept accountability for our wrongdoings.  Yet He doesn’t see things to lord them over us.   He sees to REVEAL, to KNOW, and for His LIGHT.   God came to us in Jesus to shine light into the darkness of the things that plague us.   He came to see our sins, then to remove the consequences of them.  He shines light on the black mold that rots us from within and begins to scour it away with the healing purity of His light and love.   When you are called on by your Creator to answer for the millions of sins you’ll commit in your life, your Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace will shine on you in grace and mercy, covering over the darkness of sin and erasing it with the warm love of light.

He does it even now.   Yes, I am emotionally struggling this season, perhaps more so than at any other holiday time in my life.   Right now it seems even harder than when my parents died (and they each died during the fall-times leading up to Christmas).   Yet I know it’s true that Jesus is still with me, still guiding me even when I feel like my emotions are overtaking me.   Sometimes “Lord help me” is enough to remind me that He actually is helping.   He’s with me, shining His light on me even when I’m too focused on the dark struggles to see it.

For more reading:   Psalm 33:13-15, Proverbs 5:21, Jeremiah 16:17, Daniel 2:22, Jonah 1:3.

Father God and Son and Spirit, I pray for Your help in these days.   Shine Your love-light on me and let me be a lens through which You can shine it into others as well.

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