~ Read Ps. 17, 35
Where do I run when dangers arise? Where to I hide when troubles ensue? When the threats come from elsewhere, outside of me, Lord, the answer is easy. I always turn to you. And yet, when the struggles I face are my own, when they’ve been caused by something that I’ve done or not done, I run away as fast as I can. Whether I’ve ignored your truth, failed to obey your command to love, created my own standards for how I should live, or something else, I always run and hide.
Like a child who knows they’ve been caught being naughty I run from you, Lord, hoping you won’t see my guilt, or notice my shame. As if you cannot see me or find where I am, I hide from you, hoping you won’t notice whatever I’ve done, hoping you won’t make me relinquish my sin.
I run away from you and don’t seek you in prayer, because I’m afraid, you’ll reject me and recognized I’m a fraud. I run from your word because it reminds me how weak and selfish I truly am. I hide from your people and the fellowship of your church because I pridefully don’t want others to see my brokenness, and I certainly don’t want them to hold me accountable for my sin. I turn away from you, and foolishly pursue salvation in other things, that make me feel good about myself, don’t reveal the depth of my sin, or require too much from me in return.
I look for salvation through the good things I do, as if the kind and helpful things I do are enough to cover my sin. I look for significance in my relationships with others, though ultimately, I know my parents, spouse, children, and friends can't give me what I'm looking for, because they often feel as insignificant as I do. I look for fulfillment in the work that I do and the things I accomplish in this life. I look for happiness in my circumstances, Lord God, and for joy in anything but you.
Sometimes, I feel like Saul, as if you have turned away from me and no longer answer my prayers because of my disobedience and sin; but ultimately, Lord, I know that it’s not you who turned away from me, but me who has turned away from you.
Have mercy on me, Lord, and do not let me run anymore. Remove all my places to hide; and if necessary, take away the things that I turn to instead of you, so I have no other choice, but to run to you. Give me security and shelter and let me rest in you today.
By the grace of Jesus, I pray, for his glory and honor.