This is just a quick musing I felt I was to share with you….
It’s been a busy rhythm here at Schroaderhouse – something like Gatling gun fire. Waking, yesterday to yet another script of “musts”, I wondered, “How did it happen again? And why am I doing what I’m doing?”
Scanning back over the shells of completed (and uncompleted) tasks, I was surprised by what I found: I’ve been pulling on distracted assignments as a way of metaphorically “covering myself”…kind of like Adam and Eve hiding in the Garden after they sinned and grew ashamed.
Inch by inch, I’ve burrowed under a constant stream of activity to try and shield myself from the piercing and bright sun of God. I’ve used busyness as a way to avoid making eye contact (why would I want to do that when I really think about it?)
God in His mercy laid open the truth: I was hiding because it requires something of me to stand in the Sun, to hold myself in the Joy beam. It’s intense. I stand naked before Him…and that puts my heart in a place that feels dangerous. Vulnerable. [the twist is that if I stay, it yields blessing every time]
Viewed with outside eyes, all the things I’ve been attempting to cover myself with look like ridiculous sheets of paper. They may feel substantial; like things that give me adequate distraction or a sense of security, but ultimately they’re wisps of paper that practically evaporate in His presence.
No amount of money, prestige, power, pride, busyness, skill, achievement, or security will hide me from my sense of unseemliness. And the fact is that I’m seen. He sees right through anything I hide behind. In moments of fear, I feel the truth that all sinful human beings know at their core: I am utterly naked before Him…and standing in absolute deservedness of His rightful judgement.
But as I watch the scene in my mind’s eye, my silly papers glow red and curl at the edges, breaking up into dust in the wind; and Christ steps in between me and the Father’s anger, sent by the God Himself as the shield to deflect His rage and fury- His just punishment of wickedness and sin.
Christ stands in between, no flimsy sheet of paper- and in fact, the only thing that will stand against the fire of God’s just wrath. The shield, the protector, the forgiver. None of my human accomplishments will mean a thing, it is only Christ that can stop me from being consumed.
This is the way it is in eternity and now- I will be devoured and consumed by anything I try to hide myself in apart from Him. He’s the only one we can serve without being destroyed in the process.
The thick good and the real satisfaction come when I step out from behind my sheets of paper, trust Christ’s sacrifice and forgiveness and look God in the eye- let the piercing sun shine right down on me- and stay there. That’s the trick to finding Life abundant…staying there. Eyes locked on His, dwelling, delighting, remaining.
This is the great paradox and mystery: that what felt like it would consume us if we stepped out into it- God’s great presence- actually gives us life. In fact, it’s the only safe and joyful place to be. Christ is the filter that makes such a pure Light able, not to burn us up in wrath, but to fuel us and fill us.