“Who are you God, because You are turning out to be so much different than I imagined? Where are you God, ’cause I am finding life to be so much harder than I had planned? You know that I’m afraid to ask these questions…but You know they are there. And if You know my heart the way that I believe You do, then know that I believe in You…
But still I have these questions…like:
- How could You, God? How could You be so good and strong and make a world that can be so painful?
- Where were You, God? I know You had to be right there. I know You never turned Your head.
You know that I am confused by all this mystery. You know I get afraid. But if You know my heart as completely as I trust You do…oh You know that I am trusting You.”
– Steven Curtis Chapman from his new album “Beauty Will Rise”, song “Questions”.
I have many soap boxes, I’m not going to lie. Anyone who knows me, or who has even read here long, knows I am passionate about many things, like “Not blowing sunshine” and especially “There is no such thing as a secret”. When I say, “no such thing as a secret”, I don’t mean a surprise meant to be kept, like a birthday treat or special occasion, but in the true sense of the word: secret or hidden.
I am a middle child. Growing up this was beneficial in that I’d watch my big and little sisters do something that got them into trouble and then, one, either avoid it, or two, do the exact same thing, just secretly. Why? Because I wanted to portray an idea of perfection to my parents…you know, because parents think their kids are perfect, right? And, I didn’t want to disappoint them.
One doozer of a lie I told my parents was when my friend Katie and I were driving on a dirt road one summer up at Glen Lake in Michigan (one of the most beautiful places on earth). I was totally screwing around trying to fish tail. This would have been fine if I had actually known HOW to fish tail…but I was a city girl and gravel roads were few and far between. As a result, we smacked into a tree and sat there, just kind of staring at each other. The very first thought was not, “Oh crap! I screwed up the bumper!” Instead it was, “Oh man! What on earth am I going to tell my parents so I don’t get busted?!” (I know…shocking, right?!)
We took the long way home around the lake so we could work on a lie. I didn’t even cry until I was walking up to the cottage and realized tears would enhance the story…
“Dad, I totally hit a tree! We’re okay, but Katie and I were driving on the highway and pulled onto a dirt road for a short cut. I was going too fast and tried to down-shift but I started to fish tail and we hit a tree…but we are okay…”
My dad knew I was blowing sunshine at him but tried to at least act concerned, because…I SUCK AT LYING. I’ve never been good at it. My face totally gives it away.
But, I stuck to my story and my dad at least acted like he bought it, for several years, anyway. Then, of course, years later he shared how a tree had “jumped out” at him while he was a teenager. Craziest thing! It was my ticket to finally come clean. He just smiled and said, “I knew.”
And that’s a dad, a human dad, that knew. Just like mom’s know literally everything. (Em, if you are now a teenager reading this…I already know…and I still love you!)
And, of course, there are the lies and secrets we think we’ve gotten away with, but if they are hurtful to us or others, they will be exposed.
With God, there is no such thing as a secret.
We may have hidden something deep within our hearts long ago, but if it’s something toxic to who we were intended to be, keeping us from beneficial growth, God will expose it. He doesn’t do it to be a big fat jerk. God is light and will not co-exist with darkness. He actually does it quite gently at first. When someones “secret” is plastered on the front of a magazine cover or makes headline news, it may be shocking and the first time we have heard it, but God doesn’t go right to the media with our secrets. He is a Gentleman and initially goes directly to us.
If we try to hide it even deeper, He’ll bring it up again. Then, if we think we can still keep something from the Creator of the Universe, He will put us on someones heart who “just happens to be thinking or praying for you”…you know, because there are coincidences! At least, that’s what we try to tell ourselves when a person we haven’t heard from in years or months just happens to be thinking of us “out of the blue”.
And, if there are questions or secrets we are trying to “hide” from God because we think He’ll be too disappointed that we would even have them…guess what?! He already knows they are there. And, He can handle them. They don’t intimidate God. They aren’t even big enough questions, frustrations or concerns to even knock Him off His throne.
He knows. He knows that in this life we will have questions and we will wish He did things differently than we had planned. He knows that we have secrets and questions and He knows which ones are harmful to our health.
The day I realized that there was no such thing as a secret when it came to my relationship and communication with God, I experienced a freedom I had never known. God likes candid. There’s no point trying to “blow sunshine” at Him. He. Can. Handle. It.