Tag Archives: Exposure

“I’ve Got This”

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Matthew 6:30-34 (MSG)

This past week was our first trip down to the lake this year. I have said before that our family’s place on the lake always has been what many call a thin place. It’s a place where things of the Spirit are perceived with greater clarity.

So it was that I began to realize during our time at the lake just how anxious I have become about certain things in life. A bout of insomnia and some time of reflection unearthed a host of things I have been increasingly worried about. I’ve been harboring anxiety; My mind dwelling on things I ultimately can’t control. Being at heart a pessimist, my natural personality tends to take these little anxieties, hide them in the dark corners of my mind, and quietly grow them like bacteria.

On our drive home, I brought these things out into the open in conversation with Wendy. Along life’s journey I’ve discovered that fears and anxieties tend to lose their power when brought out and exposed to the light of conversation. It was helpful to talk it out, and to have Wendy challenge each anxiety with her lock-tight logic.

Yesterday after our local gathering of Jesus followers, I had a few friends praying over me. After a while in fairly routine prayer mode one of my friends, who is a prophet, said out of the blue, “You’re carrying too much. Stop worrying about…”  they then proceeded to name, specifically, the things I’ve been anxious about. There was more that was said, but suffice it to say that I got the message.

This morning I’m reminded that we as humans sometimes need repeated reminders. In today’s chapter Jesus continues His classic “Sermon on the Mount.” One of the simplest reasons I continue to daily journey through God’s Message is that often I’m given exactly the spiritual reminder I need. So it is today. It’s like Jesus personally following up on Wendy’s reasoned logic and the words spoken through my friend yesterday.

“Tom, when has worrying done anything for you? Chill out. Keep going. Stay focused on me. I’ll take care of you.

“I’ve got this.”

Chapter-a-Day Hebrews 4

Illuminated parchment, Spain, circa AD 950-955...
Image via Wikipedia

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable. Hebrews 4:13 (NLT)

Scene 8

GLADYS and DEAN exit. ARL steps up and sits next to THOMAS on the porch steps, he notices the cigarette in THOMAS’ hand.

ARL: You a smoker, Tommy?

THOMAS: No. Not any more.

ARL: I suppose you know your dad used to like a cigarette now and then. Kids always know their parents secrets.

THOMAS: Yes. He used to keep his stash of cigarettes in the shed. He used to always head out to “work in the shed” after dinner. Mom never said a word.

ARL: Oh, I think your mom gave him an earful from time to time, but she’d stay quiet in front of you. She wouldn’t want to admit it in case you didn’t know. But of course, you did know because kids always know the secrets of their parents.

THOMAS: Like the fact that you and dad and Mr. De Haas would meet in the shed to have a little nip at the bottle of Old Crow in the bottom drawer of dad’s tool cabinet?

ARL: (mocking incredulity) I don’t know what you’re talking about.

THOMAS: (laughs) I’m sure you don’t…

Secrets are powerful. Tucked away in dark places, secrets both great and small wield tremendous power over us and in us. And, as with most things you find in dark places, the results are generally not positive.

Secrets are powerful. We all keep them. It’s part of the human condition. We’ve been hiding things since Adam and Eve figured out how useful fig leaves can be. And so we make sure certain things are hidden away from public sight where we think no one sees.

The way things work out, however, is that things hidden in dark places eventually find their way to the light. As Arl muses in the above scene from Ham Buns and Potato Salad: Children discover the secrets of their parents. Parents discover the secrets of their children. Jesus himself said, “For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.” That is, because everything is exposed to God. The deepest secrets of our lives, hearts, minds and souls are already fully laid bare before our Creator.

Exposure is not a bad thing. Why do you think Frank Warren’s site Post Secret has been continually flooded with postcards for years and years? Exposure can be painful, perhaps. Embarrassing, usually – at least for a time. But dark things exposed to the Light tend to lose their power over us. That’s why God commands us to confess our secrets to one another and to expose dark things to light. In doing so, we are stepping out of darkness and into Light. We are pressing forward in our journey rather than getting mired and stuck in murky places.

So, what’s my secret?