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Hiding from grace

I was listening to a Christian song the other day that made me ask if we really do make 'mountains' out of molehills in our lives simply because we won't let go of our shame. Dare I admit it, I probably do this more than I actually realize? How about you? Do you have trouble letting go of your missteps and things you've already confessed to God, but somehow just feel like you need to 'keep confessing' them to him? It is likely you and I do this because we don't really trust God's grace to be complete, final, and trustworthy. Somehow we think we have to do more, confess harder, get worked up a little bit, or just beat ourselves up with our sin just a little bit more if we are ever to be free from the load of guilt we carry because of it. The opposite is the truth, but we hold onto our mistaken beliefs because we don't fully understand grace. Grace isn't just an action in our lives - it is a person - Christ. Where Christ dwells, there is no room for our shame!

When wickedness arrives, shame's not far behind; contempt for life is contemptible. (Proverbs 18:3)

Have you ever heard the saying, "You are making mountains out of molehills"? In the purest sense, this describes our tendency to respond quite "disproportionately" to something right there in front of us, or niggling in the recesses of our conscience. We all have a tendency to exaggerate a situation once in a while - no matter how pure our motives are. Yet, as it comes to our shame over misdeeds, I think we start out standing on a molehill and before long it advances to an almost insurmountable mountain. We don't have moles in my neck of the woods, but we do have prairie dogs or gophers. Those tiny mounds of dirt they push up as they burrow into the ground are certainly not very "ominous" or "intimidating" in appearance. Yet, if you are the ground hog, those very small mounds of dirt serve some purpose and give evidence of something going on just beneath the surface.

They provide a barrier against the forces that seek to invade their burrows, such as rain water. They act as small "dams" to keep out the waters. They provide a vantage point for them to spy out their territory. As they perch on the top of one of these mounds, they can scout all around. Only problem with this 'mound viewing' is that their view is limited to this very "low" perspective. There are all kinds of "overhead" viewpoints which clearly expose them even though they feel their are cleverly blended into their environment. Lastly, they provide something to hide behind and to scurry away into if they are 'under attack' or fell 'threatened'. They can just barely peak their wee noses over the top and begin to "sense" if there is safety in the immediate area. They can quickly retreat back into their hole if a threat is sensed. If the mounds are 'fresh' we know there is activity or life beneath the surface. If the mounds haven't been refreshed in a while, we somehow make the assumption there is no life beneath. The burrowed holes remain even when life seems to have ceased - making it easy for the littlest thing to find 'shelter' inside their tunnels if the need arises. The only way to be free of what no longer exists is to get rid of the places of hiding totally - destroy the burrows!

How could prairie dog holes actually refer to shame in our lives? Rain comes in our lives in the form of "healing" and "cleansing" rain - direct from the throne of God. We will call this "grace rain". If we build dams against the "grace rain" we never really expose ourselves to the very thing which will cleanse us! The barriers we place between us and God in the form of our walls of shame actually serve to keep us from receiving the very thing that he provides for our much needed healing. We also think we have a good view of our sinfulness - seeing our shame as this huge mound of guilt we stand upon. Problem is we don't have as good of a vantage point as we think we do! God sees our shame as molehills - we see it as mountains! Silly us! Our shame looks like an impossibility to overcome - we have worked so hard to get those walls built, after all! We hide so cleverly behind those mounds! We think they cover us and our guilt from everyone's view, but guess what - - it is hard to hide behind a molehill! Try it - you will find you have very little "cover" in the scheme of the Almighty's vantage point. There is nothing that covers sin and the load of guilt it produces like the blood of Jesus. Whatever "cover" we try on our own will be futile.What you do with the molehill determines if you will stand upon true mountains! Just sayin!

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