Have you ever played hide and seek with a child who’s reached that stage of development when they believe that if they close their eyes, you can’t see them?  I’ve had so much fun loudly searching every corner of the room for a child who is curled up in a ball in the middle of the floor giggling loudly.

Thinking that we can hide our sin or our feelings from God is a bit like that.  It’s like closing our eyes and hoping He can’t see them.  But He can.

Jeremiah knows that.  “You know me, O LORD; you see me and test my thoughts about you,” Jeremiah 12:3.   

And when he prays, he’s not afraid to say what he feels.  “Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?”  Jeremiah 12:1.

We cannot hide our sin from God and if we don’t deal with it, it becomes a larger and greater obstacle in our relationship with Him.  The only helpful way to deal with sin is to confess it and repent.  And it seems to me that God is more interested in how quickly we do that, than in how often.

And why pretend to God that we are feeling OK when we’re not?  We’re so used to bottling up our emotions that we often try to do that even when we’re praying.  And yet speaking out our heart often creates the space and the opportunity for God to speak into our heart.

And here’s the real test of whether or not our hearts are open to God.  It’s not how we receive the good news (He loves us, He forgives us, He has grace and mercy and great plans for us) it’s how we receive the tough news – the correction, discipline, or rebuke of God. 

God’s response to Jeremiah is not exactly encouraging.  Jeremiah 12:5-6 essentially says that life is worse than Jeremiah realises and about to get tougher.  “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? Your brothers, your own family— even they have betrayed you.”

But Jeremiah has opened his heart to God.  He deals with his sin, he expresses his feelings, he humbly learns from all that God teaches him.  He shapes his life around the truth that God reveals.

That’s just the kind of person I aspire to be.

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