Thursday, March 10, 2016
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you. Psalm 139:1-12(NLT)
You know how “family stories” are; something happens that’s weird or funny and for the next forty years all you have to do is mention the first word of the story at a family gathering and everyone is suddenly grinning.
My bride has provided us with more than a few of these moments. One such time that she often tells on herself (and which I would be most foolish to reproduce here were it not for her permission) is about the doily.
Elizabeth is a “clean freak”. She was called The White Tornado by our children for years. Even though the house is always in order and could pass a military inspection, when company is scheduled to come, it’s all-hands-on-deck until it all shines!
Once, when guests were almost due, our daughter, Jennifer, was finishing off the dusting. As she picked up the lace doily from the piano, she noticed a tear in the pattern and yelled to Elizabeth in the next room: The doily on the piano has a hole in it. Without skipping a beat, the Tornado yelled back: Just turn it over!
I don’t know why the thought of hiding one side of a hole by turning it over to expose the other side of the hole, can turn our family conversation to the absurdly funny…but that is one that never fails! Turn the doily over!
The Psalmist had that kind of revelation about hiding from God. God knows everything about us. Like a doily, it does not matter which way we try to hide or bury our innermost thoughts and the most secret of our deeds – the holes in our character cannot be hidden by turning a different side to the light.
And He is always there. If we run to the uttermost remote parts of the universe, God is there first; morning, evening or the dead of night, our God is ever present. We can try to hide in our memories, or busy ourselves with the present, or promise better behavior in the future – but our lives are transparent to an all-knowing God; every stitch of our existence is illumined to the Lord…on every side. You can turn over that doily of your life’s doings all you want to make it seem different or better than it really is…but, as the old saying has it…you can run, but you can’t hide; not from Him!
And that brings us to the main point – confession! The word “confess” in Scripture means to say the same. It means to look at what our thoughts, words and deeds have been and tell it like it is – to name it as God calls it.
In our culture confession has become obsolete – replaced by excuse, or worse – explanation which lays the blame at someone else’s feet.
But that simply turns the doily over; it never mends the holes!
Remembering that the Father already knows all about you, don’t turn the doily over. Why not start the day with saying the same – confessing your sin, and being forgiven?