From my reading chair, I could hear the sound of my son, Bryce, running his bath water. After reading a few pages of a book, I realized that I could no longer hear any water running. For that matter, I couldn’t hear anything. It was strangely quiet –too quiet.
I waited another minute or two and then I heard another sound. It was water draining from the tub. I knew Bryce was up to something.
I walked down the hallway to the bathroom and peaked in the doorway to find my son standing there without a stitch of clothing on his body. Moreover, he was completely dry -except for his hair!
“Bryce, what’s going on here?”
“Um, the water was too hot so I’m draining some out to cool it off.”
“So, you’re saying you haven’t taken a bath, but you are still planning to get in the tub?”
“Then why is your hair wet?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
I had caught trapped him in his own lie and he had no idea how to fix it. I decided to give him an opportunity to come clean (pun intended).
“Bryce, were you trying to trick me into thinking you took a bath when you really didn’t?”
I decided to take the “stare your child down until they confess” approach. After about three minutes of a silent stare-off, I realized my son might be more stubborn than I am. In fact, I had to leave the room so I could laugh without him seeing me.
Eventually he confessed to the crime, but only after a long conversation. I explained to him that while his lie hurt my feelings, his refusal to confess hurt even more.
I thought about that after he went to bed. Why was his refusal to confess the more hurtful offense? Because it communicated that my son did not feel safe enough with me to lean on my mercy. He would rather continue trusting in an unsustainable lie that to trust in the security of my love.
That sounds a lot like the way I act before God sometimes. In the moments when I feel most vulnerable, I often neglect my greatest source of comfort by misrepresenting the truth:
- When I am worried that I will never find another wife, I ignore my great provider and act as though I am self-sufficient.
- When I struggle to keep up as a single parent, I disguise myself before God as someone who has it “all together.”
- When the pressures of my work leave my heart in turmoil, I bottle up my emotions and portray calmness and peace.
Like Adam and Eve, I am naked and ashamed before God, yet I still try to hide. All the while, God is willing and able to cover me with His love. What does that say about my trust in God’s mercy and grace?
That night, before he went to bed, I had a talk with my son. I explained that he could always share his mistakes, failures, hurts, and feelings with me. But then, I took it one step further –I asked him to share them with me.
In the same way, God is not only available to hear our confession, but He asks us to share our burdens with him. There is safety and security in trusting our Heavenly Father with all our struggles, deficiencies, weaknesses, and failures.
“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)