Spring has officially begun, but winter is having a hard time giving way to the new season. Here in Indiana there have been many frosty mornings. The frost is beautiful, all furry-white on last fall’s blades of grass, the trees and buildings. When the sun comes up, the frost’s time is limited. The warmth of the rays quickly obliterate the tiny crystals.
This morning I went out to do chores around eight. The frost had already been eaten away in most parts of the yard, but two rather large swaths remained where the shadows of an ancient Blue Spruce and a tall bush had blocked the sun’s warmth from access to the frost with their shadows. Even though neither the tree nor the bush was solid– I could see quite clearly through the branches of each – their shadows effectively preserved the frost for several hours.
I was struck by the thought that sometimes this illustrates the relationship between us and our Lord Jesus.
Jesus is the sun. He is the Light of the World. He is the bringer of life and warmth. Most of the time, we desire to be in his presence. but there are times when we may feel unworthy. Perhaps we’ve committed a sin. Perhaps it’s a sin we’ve struggled with many times in the past, and we’re sure God has had it up to his eye teeth with our nine hundred and ninety-ninth request for forgiveness. Or perhaps it’s a “bad” sin. One that is way worse than anything we’ve done before. At least in our eyes.
Now, we’re hiding from God. Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden after eating the fruit, we are afraid to walk and converse with Him. We sew fig leaves together to cover ourselves. We hide in the foliage. We pretend not to hear when He calls. We refuse to open the door when he knocks. We think He’s pursuing us to condemn us or tell us we get one more chance, but we’d better not blow this one. We run away and erect barriers behind us.
The Bible tells us how wrong we are to do these things – to shove a tree between us and the sun. Romans 8:1 says: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (NIV) This means that we will not be found guilty of our sins because Jesus has already paid our debt and set us free from them forevermore. This promise is for those who place their faith and trust in Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. It is not for those who have not given their lives for Jesus or who do not know Him.
Psalm 103:12 promises:
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (NIV)
1 John 1:9 says:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (NIV)
So why do we block our sins from God? Why don’t we confess them and allow His warmth to melt them away? Why do we stand behind the bush and continue in the frosty chill of concealment when all we have to do is take a step out from behind the shield and tell God what He already knows. If we take that step, He will forgive and provide the gentle warmth to melt the frost, surrounding us with His love.
My prayer for you is that the next time you’re tempted to hide from God, you will think of the frost and the tree and remember that all you have to do is move out from behind your barrier into the loving arms of a Father God who cared so deeply for you that he sent his only Son to die on a cross and awaits the opportunity to forgive you yet again.