Stop Hiding From God, and Be Healed
It’s a familiar story. Jesus approaches a man with a withered hand in the synagogue. The Pharisees hover, seeking to accuse Jesus of committing the sin of working on the Sabbath.
Jesus looked at them, grieved at their hardened hearts. Then He spoke to the man: “Stretch out your hand.” The man obeyed. And his hand was completely healed.
We have no idea what happened to the man’s hand. He never even says anything. But standing in front him is the only One who can fix the very thing he most needs fixed.
Yet, what if he refused to show his withered hand, afraid of the menacing crowd? Or what if he showed Jesus his good hand instead, trying to hide his infirmity, hoping to impress Jesus?
He could have said no. But he obeyed. He dared to reveal to Jesus his most shameful trait. And he was healed.
Bring It Into the Light
So, here’s my question to you. What are you hiding from God right now that desperately needs to be healed or forgiven? Because right now, Jesus is offering you the same choice.
John 3 reminds us:
For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light (emphasis added).
Notice, the parallel is not between evil and good, but between evil and truth. None of us are good enough to inherit the Kingdom of God on our own. Only through the merits of Jesus Christ. What we are required to do is allow the light of God’s love and mercy to shine on every aspect of our lives.
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How too familiar have we become with these passages that they no longer carry the weight they should?
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)
Cast all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Are any among you suffering? They should pray. (James 5:13-16)
If we need healing and forgiveness — as we all do at multiple points in life — then we must become utterly open and honest in our prayers.
Satan, the enemy of our souls, knows this and wants to keep us from stepping into God’s healing light. So he makes us afraid that God will get angry with us, reject us, or worse, simply ignore us. But those are lies. God loves us more than we can possibly know. He will reward those who seek him.
What About Unanswered Prayer?
“But John,” you might say. “I’ve shown God my deepest wounds and unfulfilled longings. I’ve held them out in front of Him in prayer for years. And yet He still has not responded.”
Believe me, I hear you! In fact, this lesson of being open with God returned to me this very week. I was complaining to God for the millionth time about a particular issue that has plagued me for decades now. It often feels like that all my prayers and weeping for this issue have fallen on deaf ears. And yet when I do bring it to God in prayer (sometimes in very ugly and even disrespectful ways), He gives me grace to carry on. And His grace really is sufficient.
Why God answers some prayers and not others can only be found in the mystery of His love. If for whatever reason He chooses not to answer some prayers, it’s because He loves us more than the answers would be. It’s because He’s up to something else good that we may not understand until the other side of this veil.
Be Open and Honest
So I plead with you: Open up your hearts to God. Do it quietly, or scream at the top of your lungs. Just stop trying to hide. He already knows the inner most parts of our being, so there is no reason to be afraid.
The exercise of opening up is not for His sake, but for ours. And however He chooses to answer, I promise you will not be disappointed.
John Melton is the Editor-in-Chief of The Stream. He has worked for LIFE Outreach International, The Stream’s parent organization, for more than 16 years. He has a background in theology, philosophy, and music. Most of his professional career has been spent in non-profit administration, marketing and event planning.