The man and the woman hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8b
Earlier this year Jayne, my wife, had Covid-19. No temperature and no cough, but a loss of voice. Directed to A & E, Coronavirus was confirmed and she was sent home. She was aware she was unwell before symptoms and diagnosis but couldn’t precisely say what the problem was.
How like us. We feel out of sorts with God, ourselves and others, yet can’t quite locate why. Here Adam and Eve, having followed their own reasoning, instinctively feel they must hide from God. The problem with disobeying God is that we carry an awareness of it deep within. We feel too ashamed to face God and seek forgiveness. We even attempt to justify our wrongs.
Whatever justifications we attempt to give to wrongdoing, we can never escape that gnawing inner sense of shame. Of course we seek to face it down and minimise its importance together with the scars it leaves within. Yet, eventually we must face the consequences. And there are always consequences.
Inner conviction is perhaps the most important guide directing us to prayer. If we feel discomforted then, rather than hide and hope, we must return to God, much as Jayne made her way to A&E.
One essential way we do this is to pray and in so doing lift our voice and open our heart to God. Express regret and disappointment whilst seeking to recover our friendship. Failure to do so only leaves us naked and alone in the undergrowth of our own self-deception.
Although observers need never know of the struggles and justifications we carry within, we remain naked before God and self until we make our peace with God. It is God alone who can clothe us in our right mind.
Something to Consider: What are you seeking to hide from God, and yourself?
An Action to Take: Whenever you feel inner discomfort turn to God in prayer.
A Prayer to Make: ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; see if there is any offensive way in me. Amen*.’
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
Photo by Richard Pasquarella on Unsplash
Used with Permission