“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” - Hebrews 4:15-16
Overall, I was a pretty good kid growing up (and yes, my parents would actually attest to that!). But on the occasions where I found myself in the wrong – whether on accident or not – my first instinct was to hide.
A vivid memory remains in my mind of the time my sister went to see The Nutcracker ballet, and proudly brought home a large, fully wax, nutcracker candle souvenir. One night, as I sat at the foot of her bed admiring the nutcracker candle, I picked a little piece of wax away with my tiny fingernail. Before I knew it, I was sitting with a pile of wax shavings in front of me, and a very sad, very unrecognizable nutcracker in my hands. I was caught in the act, and there was no hiding what I had done.
There was no ill will in me destroying this treasured souvenir, and my parents knew this. But when it came time for me to take accountability for what I had done, that’s when I tried to hide. The evidence was, literally, all over my hands as I looked my parents in the eyes and told them it “wasn’t me” who did it. Oh, and by the way, my sister and I are their only children. You can imagine the smirks as my parents undoubtedly thought to themselves… “who else would have done it?” My shame overtook me and caused me to hide from my problems rather than confess and be free of them. Desperately trying to cover up and refuse to admit to it only made my shame, and the situation itself, so much worse.
We may blame Adam and Eve for disobeying God and allowing sin to enter the world, but I don’t think any of us blame them for hiding from Him afterward. They knew what they had done, and they knew that God knew. But their shame forced them to hide from Him. We’ve all felt that awful feeling of shame - knowing what’s done is done, and we cannot take it back no matter how remorseful we may be. We see our weaknesses as just that – weaknesses. And we hate to admit it when we give in to them.
Hebrews 15 tells us that Christ empathizes with our weaknesses. He gets it. He walked through the same temptations that we face, but our hope is found in this: He did not sin. And this was not done so that he could sit back and say, “Shame on you - if I can do it, anyone can!” No – He lived the perfect life so that His mercy and grace could be freely extended to us when we falter.
It is our job, then, to approach God’s throne with confidence. This isn’t always easy when we’re natural hiders! But God assures us that in our time of need, He is more than ready to help us. So, boldly embrace God’s grace and mercy today. Humbly accept His help. Rest in His empathy – He loves us and truly desires for us to let go of shame and live in His presence.
Thank you for the grace and mercy you extend to us. Our sinful nature tells us to sit in our shame and to hide from your light. But you came to this earth and lived the perfect life so that we no longer need to be shackled by our sins. True freedom is found when we lay down our pride and bring our weaknesses to you.
Thank you for walking through this sinful world. You understand how we are tempted because you were tempted as well, yet never sinned. Your empathy allows us to bring every worry, every fear, and every fault to your feet because we know that you understand.
Help us to approach your throne with confidence because it is a throne of mercy. When we try to hide our sin and shame, remind us of your boundless grace. I pray that we would draw nearer to you no matter what we’re going through. Your Word promises that you will give us gracious help in our time of need – help us to believe that today!
In Jesus’ Name,
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Tinnakorn Jorruang
Tiffany Curtis is the Faith Editor of Crosswalk.com. She has a B.A. in English with a minor in Business from Liberty University. Her goal is to share Christ's love and help others grow in their faith through her work as a writer and editor.
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