I played cards with my five year old niece not long ago. Always an interesting experience. The idea of the game was to make as many princess pairs as possible without ending up with the Joker - Ursula the sea witch.
We laid down the pairs we already had then took turns selecting one card from the other person’s hand. Eyes closed, of course. Tori was noticeably upset when she drew Ursula from my hand. I was waiting for the chance to get it back in the remaining turns, but she never showed up. Finally, I realized there were several cards missing. We kept exchanging the same few cards without making any new matches.
So I challenged her, “Tori, do you have the Ursula card somewhere other than in your hand?”
She squirmed and shrugged; looking at me with angel blue eyes, but wouldn’t admit to anything. Then in a telltale move, she glanced at the hiding place behind her.
“Did you hide Ursula behind your back?”
Tori sheepishly admitted, “I don’t like Ursula.”
“But honey, if you hide Ursula behind your back you automatically lose the game. I can’t pick her from your hand if she’s back there.” I saw realization in her eyes.
How many times have I done that? I try to hide my sin from God (as if I could) because I know it’s bad. But then God can’t deal with the sin that is troubling me. Jesus wants to take it away. He knows the secret place in my heart where I have hidden it. He is waiting for me to hold it out and let Him take the offending card – my impure thoughts, my complaining spirit, my selfishness and ingratitude, my feelings of worthlessness and despair, my cutting words.
Why do I conceal these sins behind my back? Do I think if I ignore them they will go away? Or have I been duped by Satan’s lie that God wants to ruin all my fun? Or am I so ashamed of what I have done, what I have spoken, what I have thought, that I don’t think God will want to forgive me? When I believe those lies I’m the one who loses. The Bible assures us that when we confess, He forgives, period.
Life is so much more than a game. What we choose to do with sin now not only affects where we spend eternity, but it makes a profound difference in our life here and now. Confession destroys the barrier between us and God, as well as us and others. It opens the door to love, peace, laughter, strength, and so much more! I am ashamed I have tried to hide anything from the One who wants what is best for me. I am determined to daily, even moment by moment, hold out those Ursula cards for Jesus to deal with as only He can.
(c) Beth Vice, 2010