Running For Cover
"God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." I John 1:5..."If He really does His work in you and in me, He will make us to be people who can bear to be 'looked into' without any fear, without any drawing of the blinds. Our lives and our motives will bear looking into." T. Austin-Sparks
After Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden, and sin entered into them, and through them, into us, their first response to God was to try and hide from Him. Sin, and it's power over them brought between they and the Father a barrier that hadn't existed before. What had been natural, intimate fellowship with Him, was now alien to them. Their first thought was to hide from His Presence, even as His Presence sought them. Nothing has changed for we who are their human heirs in the eons that have passed since. The presence of sin in our lives will never be able to bear the Light of His Presence. Our first reaction will always be to run from it, to run from Him....even as He seeks us in order to bring us freedom.
When I was a boy, like many children, I was afraid of the dark. I remember my father once saying to me that there was nothing there in the dark that wasn't also there in the light. In the human sense he was right. Not so in the spiritual. In the spiritual realm there are endless "things" that thrive in the darkness. Things that cannot and will not bear the Light of His Presence.
I'm reminded of another boyhood memory. My aunt and uncle lived in an old farmhouse, and my brothers and I visited every summer. Their basement was a dark, dirt floor affair, and it harbored a number of mice, and who knows what else. I avoided it, but I do remember going down once, turning the light on at the top of the stairs. As I did so, I could hear the mice scurrying for cover. I don't think I went past that first step, but the memory is a great illustration for how our sins and spiritual lack run for cover when the Light of His Life draws near. And it's not those things that everyone can see. It's the inner ones that only He, and we, are aware of, and sometimes, not even we. Inner things like hurtful attitudes, bitterness, unforgiveness, arrogance, lust, hatred, bigotry. These things and so many more can't bear the Light of the Lord. We will run from that Light, hide from it. We'll do this even though we know somehow that the One who searches for us, calls to us, means to bring healing, deliverance, wholeness with His Light and Presence. As He did with Adam and Eve, He calls out, "Where are you?" He knows where we are. It's His desire that we do as well.
The beauty of all this is that the Father, in Christ, never ceases to come searching. He searches for individuals, families, people groups, nations, and yes, His Church. The tragedy is found in that most will never come out of hiding. We fear the Light. We prefer the darkness. It gives cover for our wrongdoing, wrong thinking, and wrong living. Yet for some, His Light, and His love will break through the darkness. And the darkness, which had seemed so natural to us, becomes alien to us instead. We embrace Him, His Light, His Love, and His Life. That which has been held back from Him is given fully to Him. All that we'd tried so hard to keep hidden from Him is yielded to Him. We become those who, as Sparks writes, can "bear to be looked into." Fully looked into.
There is also another kind of hiding we do. We hide in our woundedness and brokenness. We hide in our fears and our loneliness. To these and all others, He comes with His seeking, searching grace. In His grace He calls us out of our self-made covering, into the covering He offers us in Jesus Christ. Grace greater than all our sin, all our need, all our brokenness. In whatever hiding place you may be in, do you hear His call? Does your marriage, your relationships. Your family, your job, your ministry....your church? His Light shines towards us. Do we keep running for cover, or do we come to His covering? The Light has come. Have we come to the Light?