My daughter was kicking a ball around in the living room this morning when it bumped into our side table. My full coffee cup jiggled around, but didn’t spill over. “Honey, that was a close one. You can’t kick that in here. I don’t want you to spill or break anything.”
“OK, mom. I won’t,’ she said as she grabbed the ball and walked away.
Not thirty seconds later, she was kicking the ball again. This time she kicked it hard and it sailed across the room. Right into my husband’s lap… right into his full coffee cup.
I think you guys know what happened next. Coffee went everywhere. All over the couch, all over my husband, and all over my beautiful throw pillows. We both looked up to see my daughter standing on the other side of the room. Her hands were over her mouth and her eyes were as big as dinner plates.
“Honey, what did Mommy JUST say?!?” I scolded her as my husband got up to grab some towels.
“I’m sorry!” She squeaked out as she ran out of the room and down the hall.
I sat there for a minute as my husband wiped up the coffee and I finished feeding the baby. I should just let her stay in her room. She knows she isn’t supposed to kick the ball in the house! She needs to know that what she did was wrong! She needs to be sorry.
I felt justified in my mom superiority. But then I heard her silent sobs coming from her room.
She is sorry, I thought to myself. She is sorry and she is worth pursuing. Even in her disobedience.
I handed the baby off to my husband and walked down the hallway to my daughter’s room. She was huddled under the covers, crying. “Nora…” I called out to her. “Nora, honey do you want to come out and talk?”
“No, I just want to hide. I know I was wrong. I’m so sorry, Mommy,” she sobbed.
I walked over and sat down on the edge of her bed and pulled back the covers. She rolled over and hid her face from me. “Nora I need you to look at me,” she slowly turned her face towards me and peered at me through her tiny tear-covered hands. “I know that you’re sorry, sweetie. And I know that you feel bad about what happened. And even though you disobeyed, I forgive you because I love you. There is never anything you can do that would make it so that I won’t come after you when you do wrong things. I will always come after you.”
Her little stiff body softened as she dropped her hands from her face. “I know, I was just embarrassed. I knew I did something bad. And I knew you saw.”
I think that sometimes we have these same conversations with God when we know we’ve disobeyed Him – when we’ve recognized our sin. We think we can outrun Him and hide in our shame. We pull the covers up high, thinking that our deepest secrets and our biggest regrets can be concealed if we just run far enough. Shame makes us hide. Shame makes us insecure. And shame makes us feel unworthy of pursuit.
King David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). But wow, was this man’s life full of sin and shame. And like my daughter hiding under the covers this morning, David tried to hide it. He committed adultery, got his mistress pregnant, and then had someone murdered over it. I mean, talk about going to great lengths to have your sin covered up, right? Time after time, David was presented with opportunities to tell the truth, but he continued to bury his sin deeper and deeper. And to make matters worse, when the truth finally did come out, David didn’t even come clean on his own about this whole thing. Nathan was the one who exposed David’s sin. Nathan was the one who confronted his friend. And yet, God continued to pursue David in his hiding, continued to work in David’s life. And God forgave David when he repented because God loved David.
And God loves you today too, sweet friend. No matter what sin you’re trying to downplay, no matter what mess up you’re trying to pull the covers over, God still loves you in your mess. And oh friend, how he longs to meet you there in it. To have the covers pulled back and for your heart to be exposed; for you to let Him see you in all of your faults and all of your insecurities. To pour out your heart and let Him strip away everything that isn’t pleasing to His heart. To let Him into the secret place and be washed in His perfect compassion and overwhelming grace. (Proverbs 28:13, Psalm 90:8).
Is it dark there under your covers, mama friend? Can you feel that lump in your throat from your shame? Do you want redemption from that thing you’re hiding? Can I give you the push to pull the covers back and let Him uncover your heart? Because we know that no one can hide from God, it’s just a matter of time before the depths of our sin come out and we have to answer for them, no matter how deep we’ve buried them. And we’re women, we’re good at burying things deep.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weakness, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
Come to Him in confidence today, sweet friend. He’s waiting to restore. And He’s longing to redeem.