May 6

“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.” Psalm 25:14

There are secrets of Providence which God’s dear children may learn. His dealings with them often seem, to the outward eye, dark and terrible. Faith looks deeper and says, “This is God’s secret. You look only on the outside; I can look deeper and see the hidden meaning.” Sometimes diamonds are done up in rough packages, so that their value cannot be seen. When the Tabernacle was built in the wilderness there was nothing rich in its outside appearance. The costly things were all within, and its outward covering of rough badger skin gave no hint of the valuable things which it contained.

God may send you, dear friends, some costly packages. Do not worry if they are done up in rough wrappings. You may be sure there are treasures of love, and kindness, and wisdom hidden within. If we take what He sends, and trust Him for the goodness in it, even in the dark, we shall learn the meaning of the secrets of Providence. (Streams in the Desert)

“It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are – even if we tell it only to ourselves – because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. . . . Finally, I suspect that it is by entering that deep place inside us where our secrets are kept that we come perhaps closer than we do anywhere else to the One who, whether we realize it or not, is of all our secrets the most telling and the most precious we have to tell” (Frederick Buechner, in the Introduction to Telling Secrets).

There are days when the hardest part of waking up is not facing the world but myself. Frustrated recently for a myriad of piddling reasons, I offered to no one in particular the off-handed comment, “That’s the story of my life.” I muttered it as complaint, but the statement revealed more than intended. Taken at face value, my resignation indicated that my story is to be read as the lineage of one frustrating circumstance after the next, but there is more to our narrative than what perches precariously on the surface. The story of our lives is written so deep within that we may fail to recognize it unless we pause long enough to look beneath the veneer.

“Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21

One of the things we hold in common with God Almighty are secrets. We all have them, and so does He; the difference is we work hard to conceal ours, while God invites us into His hidden places. I admit to thoughts and feelings I wish He didn’t know, but we cannot conceal anything from Him. Instead of attempting a futile cover-up, come clean with the Father; tell Him the secrets He already knows, and you will discover more about Him and yourself than you ever imagined possible. Routine is comfortable and reflection disruptive, but do not yield to the easy way. Explore the hurt you buried long ago and force yourself to face your fears. Admit each honestly before the Lord, and allow Him to expose still deeper sin to confess and pain that needs the Healer.

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