Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Day of Praise

Tues, 11/07/17, "Day of Praise"

"[Jesus said,] Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known." - Luke 12:2

Some of you have heard this story before, but God nudged my heart to share it again.

I was bad. And I'm not proud of it, but if revealing it will encourage someone else, then I'll go ahead and talk about it.

And besides, God already knows. 

My brother and I were roommates in college, and we'd gotten a pumpkin for Halloween decor. Once we got past Halloween, we needed to find something to do with the pumpkin. For some stupid reason, I decided the garbage can was a lesser option for the pumpkin when we could put it in the back of our friends' closet across the hall. It's important to note that the new, pumpkin-home closet was ridiculously high and only accessible if you stood on a chair, and even then the back of the closet was still terribly hard to reach. That's why I thought it would be funny to put the pumpkin in their upper closet. I thought it would start to rot and to stink, and then they'd look for the smell, and then they'd find it and be done. 

Unfortunately, I didn't count on two things: 1) my totally forgetting about the pumpkin to the point that it was in their upper closet so long that 2) the pumpkin didn't just rot and stink, but the pumpkin also turned into pumpkin soup. It was a mess!

My victim friends, Mark and Rodney, were understandably upset. And conveniently, they blamed everybody except me because my brother and the other "Zombies" (our floor nickname) were always pulling pranks, but I never did anything like that. Never. 

So one day, I get this phone call from Mark; it was about twenty-five years later. We hadn't talked since college. He asked how I was doing. And then he asked why I did it; he asked why I put the pumpkin in his closet. So, I asked him how he found out that it was me. And he responded by saying that the way he found out it was me was that I had just, in that moment, admitted it!

Like Jesus says in today's Bible verse, the truth always comes out, no matter how hard we try to hide it. 

That's why, way back near the beginning of creation, when the first people (Adam and Eve) tried to hide from God and cover their sin, it was futile. Not only did they try to hide it, but they fooled themselves into thinking that God didn't already know. But the truth came out, and Adam and Eve realized that God knew all along. 

And the hidden truth, which is hidden from those who deceive themselves into thinking that they can hide the truth about their sin from God, is that God wants to reveal our sin to us so that God can deal with it by teaching us a lesson in the positive sense and by graciously forgiving our sin. 

That's what Mark did for me that day that he called about the pumpkin, twenty-five years after the fact. He reminded me that the truth always comes out, and then he laughed and forgave my sin, bringing the matter to a close. 

Well, almost to a close. Because a stinking, rotting, college-pumpkin prank will forever be a reminder of the truth that Jesus said. "Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known." (Luke 12:2)

So let's just go ahead and bare it all to God and whoever else needs to know so that lesson-learning, forgiveness, and healing can begin. 

Praise God!

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