“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?”’
And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”’
But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’”—Genesis 3:1-8
I think we all hide from God. I know I do, but often I don’t even realize I’m hiding. Sometimes I hide from Him because I feel I’ll never be good enough (old religious lies about performance and my own ability to earn His affection bounce around in my mind).
I think I hide in all sorts of places: work, a self-created identity-based performance, business, boredom, numbing practices (like binge-watching episodes of TV).
I wonder why I hide?
Sometimes, I hide from Him because even though I know He is exactly what I long for (un-ending unconditional love poured out for me) I feel overwhelmed by that. It’s like I want to be wanted like that (just as simple little me—made from dust—yet fully and completely loved in all my glory AND messiness) but is it really possible that He loves me like that? Am I brave enough to be seen and loved like that?
Last night, I was outside watering the garden and the grass around our home. I was paying special attention to the dry areas and just letting them really soak in the water. There were a lot of dry patches, so it took quite a long time.
As I waited for the water to seep into the dry patches, I felt myself slowing down and I entered an almost prayerful state. My feet could feel the warmth of the earth beneath them and how the heat emitted from it, almost like a motor that’s been working for hours emits heat. I found myself almost praying: “Help this earth cool off and soften; let it drink in and absorb this water.”
The relentless sun and warmth of the day slowly began to give way to the evening, the sky slowly softening as I made my way around the garden, and as I did, I began to feel myself softening; this earthen vessel was beginning to cool off, to soften and drink a little.
My feet began to feel the blades of grass and earth between my toes and the unsettling, yet refreshing, feel of the cool water on my feet—almost as if awakening me from a driven haze. I noticed the sounds around me (life all around me); the sky began to turn various pastel shades as I continued to tend our garden.
The evening progressed and before I knew it, it was getting dark. I hurried to complete the task I had before me and a gentle rush of cool wind—a much cooler breeze than usual for this time of year—blew on me. The earth beneath me now warmed me in the cool breeze and I thought, “How amazing you are God!” Then it hit me: God walked with Adam in the cool of the day, and He was walking with me also adam—clay, earth, an earthen vessel in the cool of the day.
And I felt His breath . . . His Spirit . . . as I exhaled and breathed in His goodness. It felt like the first time I’d taken a breath all day. And then I heard His whisper: “Where are you?
Feeling the slowly cooling earth beneath me, the wet blades of grass between my toes and the breeze gently encircling me I replied, “Today . . . right now . . . (I exhaled) I am here! I am warm clay drinking in your living water, in the cool of the day.” As I once again exhaled deeply, breathed in His goodness, and drank in His goodness I heard Him say, “Why hide? I am here for you. I love you!”
I felt and heard no condemnation, just a gentle lingering question, and a reminder:
“I love you.”
“I am here for you.”
I went inside and the questions of my busy day seemed to bombard me; it was almost as if things shifted simply by moving indoors: “How will I get this week’s devotional written? What will I write about? There was silence . . . a deep breath . . . and then my spirit—His Spirit once again prayed, “Lord breathe life into these words I am reading on a page, soften the hardened soil of my mind and heart and breathe life into me—adam—clay—humanity; breathe your life-giving breath into me and through me into others. Pour out living waters and bring life to that which is lifeless.”
There was a cool breeze all night and rain fell in the middle of it. I finally dozed off. And then, this morning, as the sun rose, a cool breeze woke me. I heard His voice calling: “Where are you? . . .”
It is a new day, in the cool of the day, and He loving calls out to me . . . I think I have a date with my Creator. I could hide . . . or I could go meet with Him. And His question beckons me with love: “Where are you?” And His words linger with longing: “Why hide? I love you. I am here for you!”
Where are you? Can you hear Him calling?
Are you hiding? If so, why hide?
He loves you. He is here for you.
“The devil seeks to destroy you with a river of lies that are all one lie. But, in the wilderness, the earth opens her mouth and swallows the river. The lie is that you create God. And the Truth is that God creates you. In the wilderness, our hearts begin to see that we can’t make life happen, but Life is making us happen, and we will give birth to Life…” —Peter Hiett
“The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.” —Revelation 12:15-16
This devotional was written by Kimberly Weynen, Peter Hiett’s assistant. It was inspired by the sermons: “Take a Hike”, “Get Real (and renounce the kingdom of lies)”, and “How to Conquer the Dragon”. To read, watch or listen to them in their entirety visit here: relentless-love.org/sermons/
*Discussion questions are available here: Discussion Questions “Get Real (and renounce the kingdom of lies)