“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”– and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:3 NIV).
Friend to Friend
When I was a teenager, my high school was just a few miles from my home. Lunch break was a mere thirty-five minutes, but I enjoyed driving home and taking a respite from the hustle and bustle of the crowded hallways.
Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was a sleepy little town with a railroad track that ran down the middle of downtown dividing it into two counties. It had a fledgling minor league baseball team whose housing Sports Illustrated ranked worst in the league, and a Hardees fast food restaurant on every corner reminding us that the corporate office for the chain was just down the street. As a child, we slept with our windows open and our doors unlocked. We rode our bicycles all over town without a hint of reservation.
But times changed in the late sixties and early seventies. We began to keep our windows closed at night, our doors locked even during the day, and kids stayed much closer to home. At our house, we kept an extra key in the mailbox just inside the garage. The only people who knew it was there was our family, and the mailman.
In high school, when I went home for lunch at 12:10 every day, I simply reached in the mailbox to retrieve the key, and then placed it back in the box until I came home again at 3:15.
One day, I came home after school at the usual time, used the hidden key, and let myself in. Before grabbing a snack, I made a bee-line to the television to turn on my favorite program. When I opened the television cabinet door, I saw the TV was missing.
I didn’t know that anything was wrong with the TV, I thought. Mom must have taken it into the shop for repairs. I called mom at her craft store.
“Hello, Bee N’ Beetle, can I help you,” my mom said.
“Hey Mom, this is Sharon. Did you take the TV in for repair?”
“No. I didn’t. Why?” she asked.
“Well, because it isn’t here,” I replied.
“What do you mean, it isn’t there?” she questioned.
“It’s not here. The cabinet is empty,” I answered.
“Is anything else missing?” she asked with a hint of fear in her voice.
“I don’t know. Let me check.”
I didn’t have to look far to see that a few other items were gone. When I came back to the phone to report, mom said, “Sharon, quick! Get out of there!”
When the police came, we discovered that someone had indeed broken into our house and taken many things. And how did he get in? Why, he used the hidden key!
Apparently, someone had been watching me. He knew that I came home at 12:10 and left again at 12:45. He also knew that I came home from school around 3:15. So between 12:45 and 3:15, he simply took the key from the mailbox, let himself in, and helped himself to whatever he so desired among our belongings. Then, when he had what he wanted, the thief simply locked the door behind him and put the key back in the mailbox for “safe keeping.”
Looking back on the incident, I see that is exactly what Satan does when we have things hidden in our hearts. He knows where the key is hidden and he takes it out to steal from us at just the opportune time. He wants to rob us of our peace and our purpose. As long as that key is hidden, he knows exactly where to look.
The Bible tells us that Satan is a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Sometimes the hidden parts of our hearts, the ones that we have not given to God, are where Satan wants to sink his teeth. As long as we have that key hidden, Satan can get to it.
There’s only one solution. Don’t hide the key. Give the key to God. No more hiding. No more shame. Give God every compartment of your heart … your whole heart.
Now It’s Your Turn
Today I am going to flip-flop our prayer and response. I’d like for us to reflect before we pray together…
Is there something that you’ve been “hiding” from God?
Are there hidden areas of your life that are locked up like an old storage closet that Satan continues to open from time to time?
Are you willing to give that key to God so that Satan can never use it against you again? If so, pray with me …
Dear Lord, for too long I’ve been clinging to this one area of my life. (Say what that area is). I’ve kept it shut tight and hidden the key from You. Unfortunately, Satan has used the key many times to rob me of my peace and my joy. He’s reminded me of my sin and shame. Today, I give that key to You. I give You my whole heart … every single bit of my life.
In Jesus’ name,
If you prayed that prayer, I’d love to pray for you!
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More from the Girlfriends
Satan would like nothing better than to keep reminding you of your past mistakes. If you are ready to get rid of the shame once and for all, then Sharon’s book, Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding Peace and Purpose in the Hurts of your Past, can help. Sister, it’s time to get free and stop letting the thief rob you of the joy God intends.