On hiding in Christ

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." Romans 13:14

I am mindlessly tired today and debating making another pot of coffee... I think I gave up on my daughter being affected by caffeine when I asked for coffee in the hospital the day she was born. It's in those moments immediately after having a baby that I realize my body is literally not my own. It was a house and incubator for another human for several months and now it is to be a feeding station as well.

So, here I sit bleary-eyed in the dark of the morning, my bible open and only lit by the flashlight component of my smart phone so as to not wake a hungry toddler. "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ," I read, as if Jesus is an over-sized knit sweater I can easily slip into on my way into the kitchen to start coffee. Lord, I pray, show me how to put you on. 

I remember visiting various youth groups in my junior high years and hearing the cheezy and all-too-common youth pastor schooling on putting on the armor of God, and this is where my mind immediately goes. I think, for me, putting on Jesus mustn't feel like armor, as if I am going to war today. These days, I find I want Jesus to feel like a cozy sweater I can hide in, I can rest in, I can relax in. I don't dare negate the teaching of Paul in Ephesians or that we are undoubtedly in a spiritual battle, but rather recognize that, in this season of life with small children and uncertainty about our future, I need to hide in Jesus.

Colossians 3 says to set our mind on the things that are above, and not on things that are on earth. That I have died and my life is hidden in Christ in God. I think for most of my life I have tried to hide in all the wrong ways. Hiding imperfections and mistakes and sins, so as to put my best mask forward, so you would like me. So you would think I have it together, that I'm not weary and fragile and so unresolved. But this is not hiding in Christ... this is hiding in my own abilities. When I wear a mask, I mask Christ at work in me. Hiding in Christ looks like letting you see the cracks, letting you see my fragility, so that you can see Christ. This, I think, is putting on Christ. This, I think, is why we all have that desire to run and put our face under a pillow once we share our deepest cuts. Because we have allowed our masks to fall and now our true self is shown, a sort of horrifying Dorian Gray that has been hidden in the attic for years.

But, I have found, it is in those moments and only those moments, that we have a small window to not only show our cuts and scars, but also show where Jesus has already healed and is beginning to heal. If my life is perfectly curated beneath my mask, I have no need for a savior. I am my own savior. If my arms are marred by an imperfect maze of cuts and scrapes, it is obvious I have chosen less-than-perfect paths in my life and am in desperate need of help. Despite my predilection for people pleasing, it will always leave me hollow.

So, today I resolve to drop the mask and rest in Christ, rest in my brokenness, and show my unending need for a wise and merciful savior to take my blemished hand and guide me to the straight and narrow way.


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