Monday, December 5, 2011
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The barber shop I used to go to was definitely a man's world, and you got more than a haircut when you went there; you got an ear full. See, something seems to happen when men sit down in that barber chair. It's as if they were administered truth serum, and they start to suddenly talk openly about their relationships, and their marriage, and their kids, and their frustrations, whether you want to hear it or not.
I guess that happens in bars, too, that's what I'm told. The barber, the bar tender, maybe the beautician; I haven't been to one in a long time. But I hear that it is that way with beauticians too. They all seem to be like safe people that you can sort of unload on. Unfortunately, I guess they can listen, but they usually can't help much. There's something in us that's looking for somewhere we can really let out what we're always holding in. You need it; I need it.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Safe Place to Unload."
Our word for today from the Word of God; it's in Hebrews 4:13-16. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great High Priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we possess. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way just as we are yet was without sin. Let us then approach the Throne of Grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Man, that's a great passage!
See, all of us carry a heart full of emotions that we don't feel safe to share. We need to. If we don't, they just boil up inside. But we cover them, we mask them, we redirect them. Why? Well, we're afraid that the person's attitude, the one we'll tell, might change if they know what we really feel. There's this little boy or girl inside of us that's so insecure and scared, but well covered. Oh yeah, the older we get, we know how to cover it up with our mask. We're just like, "Hey, I've got it together."
And yet there's this deep anger or hurt inside that we don't want anyone else to see, and it hurts. There's a fear, there's doubt, there's an agonizing struggle with some sin, secret longings. Well, here's the good news: God already knows.
That's what this passage says. In one translation, "Everything is naked and open before Him." We can't surprise Him. You don't go to Him and hear Him say, "Oh, you're kidding! Really? I didn't know that." He already knows! And since He already knows the deepest secrets of your soul, He's the one safe place to unload. You can be scared there, you can be wounded with Him, you can be weak, you can be wiped out. For once you don't have to have it all together. You don't have to look good. You don't have to be in control. You don't have to wonder if He's going to turn His back on you.
The tragedy is we often don't take advantage of this opportunity for openness with God. We come to Him all wrapped up in some kind of prayer talk. We skirt the real issues. We refuse to put the right name on what we're feeling, because it might scare us to call it what it really is. We come all dressed up. But the Bible says we actually come naked into His presence; He knows what we really look like. So let's start our praying where we really are; not where we should be. When you do, something supernatural happens. You go to the Throne of Grace and you get mercy and grace to help. It opens up that area to God's healing power. See, honesty does that. You know the truth; the truth will set you free. You start to become what you ought to be by admitting that you're not.
So who needs the barber, or the beautician, or the bartender to confess to? We've got a Savior, and He knows you, and He feels with you, and He's walked your trail. He alone is the safe place to unload the deepest secrets of your soul.