When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I just want to run away and hide. I’m not talking about the “lock myself in the bathroom for 30-minutes” hiding, I’m talking about the “I don’t even want to take my phone with me,” hiding. The kind of hiding where I don’t want anyone to find me. Most times it’s because things feel out of control – or rather, out of my control. The crazy thing is, I didn’t even know I was a “hider.”
The other day, I picked up my nephew from school, and after he climbed into the car, I asked him about his day. He replied, “It was okay, until recess.”
“What happened at recess?” I asked.
“Well, I just wanted to be in the shade. But when I was in the shade, the sun kept trying to get in!”
I laughed at his response, and then listened while he went on to talk about cobras (that’s typically how conversations go with six-year-olds – you’re talking about one thing and before you know it, you’re on to something else). But his comment about the sun trying to get in the shade stuck with me. It made me recognize the many times I’ve tried to keep the Son out of my own dark places.
Those dimly lit places are the times when I want to hide away from the world. I justify my need to isolate with the excuse, “I just need to be alone.” When I’m struggling to make it through the day because work’s been crazy, the dog threw up, and I forgot to take something out for dinner, I just want to retreat to a place all by myself. I want to isolate. But the problem isn’t that my day was crazy, or that the dog threw up, or that I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer – those things are just the hiccups in life that happen to all of us. The problem is the condition of my heart.
The problem is that deep within myself, I don’t feel lovable.
So, to prevent anyone from hurting me, I retreat.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a time and place for isolation. In fact, there are numerous times in the Bible where Jesus withdrew to lonely places to commune with the Father. His solitude from the world was an act of dependence – dependence on the only One who knew His heart and His purpose. That’s a good and healthy kind of isolation.
I’m embarrassed to say that’s not my first go-to. The isolation I choose is not dependent, but independent. I go there because I want to hide away from everything…even Jesus. I retreat within myself thinking it will bring me comfort, but really it only makes me feel lonelier. My thoughts run rampant and wreak havoc in my mind and spirit. The longer I stay there, the more toxic my thoughts are, and I know it sounds strange, but when I’m in that space, the more enticing the darkness becomes.
It lures me into thinking that’s where I belong – cut-off, detached, alone.
That’s what’s tricky about the dark. I can’t see. (Literally and figuratively, right?) And maybe that’s why I get stuck – I seek out shade to hide from the things bearing down on me, and that brief bit of relief entices me to stay. Suddenly, I don’t know where I am, or how to get out, so I remain there. Afraid to move, and sitting in the dimness of my thoughts is one thing – trying to walk through them is another.
But Jesus isn’t afraid of the dark.Jesus longs to step into our darkness and shine His healing light on wounds we’re scared to face alone. Click To Tweet
Jesus walks right in and exposes everything, so we can walk out together. Without
hesitation, He reaches into the shadows of my heart to pull me out. He moves into my darkness and exposes my ailments – not to embarrass or shame me, but to heal me. His light shines truth over lies that have sought to occupy my mind. When He steps in, darkness has to flee.
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” (John 1:5, NIV)
Standing in His love, I no longer feel the need to hide. His forgiveness, mercy and grace compel me to step towards the One Who is the Light.
“…I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life,” (John 8:12, NIV).
I know sometimes we want to hide away from the world, but we can’t stay hidden forever. If you are struggling with a hardship, or maybe more than one, know there is a God Who loves you, sees you, and is with you. There is life beyond the darkness.
That’s why, even in the shade, the Son keeps trying to get in.
If you need prayer today, please reach out to our team. We know there is power in prayer, and would be humbled and honored to go before the throne of grace on your behalf.
In what way might you need to invite the light of Christ into your world today?
And make sure to connect with us on social media! If you’re looking for additional support in your journey to increased freedom, we invite you to join one of our private online support groups, the Faith Over Fear group or our Wholly Loved Community Group. Make sure to check out our smaller online groups as well.
We also hope you’ll save the date for our upcoming June gala. It’s going to be a fun, celebratory time filled with laughter, great music, great food, and inspiring stories that reveal God’s heart.
Find out more HERE.