[Let the work continue till we’re swallowed up by life]
When we’re unable to surrender what needs to be thrown into the fire, instead, we bury it (or end up buried ourselves), in our attempt to conceal it and avoid it. This won’t work. We just can’t burry anything deep enough to ever hide it from God; one way or another we have to face our fears and our Maker–hopefully sooner rather than later.
“No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.” –Hebrews 4:13
Like Adam and Eve’s revelation of their nakedness, being exposed before our Maker reveals it all: our lack of understanding; our disloyalty and faults, and the crooked and dark places of our hearts–in short, our many sins. However, we shouldn’t be terrified of these revelations, for God is a loving Father who is gracious and merciful, eager to relent and not punish (Joel 2:13).
“His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may endure for the night, but Joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).
In the Book of Genesis, Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened when they disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They saw that they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves (Genesis 3:7). Then, when they heard God walking in the garden they hid from Him and He called out to Adam, “Where are you?”.
The excavation began, and the truth had been uncovered, as God questions both Adam and Eve, but in truth it was all out there in the open, plain for Him to see, even before the questioning begins. Being the incredible Teacher and Father that God is, there was also punishment to fit the crime (Genesis 3:16-19).
There are consequences for disobedience, and God, like a good parent, had to set a precedent for all of mankind. However, like Psalm 30:5 states, His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime. God is more than fair and just. He is also loyal and merciful. It was God Himself who made both Adam and Eve proper garments to cover their nakedness.
“The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” –Genesis 3:21
Jesus counsels us to buy from Him with no money or cost (Isaiah 55:1), for He has already paid the price Himself. Not only does He counsel us to buy garments to cloth our nakedness (Christ is whom we clothe ourselves with), but He also counsels us to buy from Him gold refined in the fire. (This treasure is our faith.) Last but not least He counsels us not to be proud of our own percieved intellectual wealth—meaning, we shouldn’t boast that we are so enlightened or wise. Jesus warned those who believed they were wise that really they were blind, and so we all should heed Jesus’ words in the Book of Revelation to buy salve to put on our eyes. Then, we can really see.
This purchase, which requires that we believe in the One God sent, (Jesus Christ) and repent of our sins, is the only way that a heart of stone can become a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). It’s the power of God, not man, that redeems us. It’s God’s grace that wipes the slate clean. Thankfully, God finishes what He starts so we have this assurance that He will never leave us in the state that He finds us.
“You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.” –Revelation 3:17
Though the excavation process can be arduous, what our troubles here are achieving for us is an everlasting glory (honor, beauty, worth) that far outweighs all of our heartaches (2 Corinthians 4:17). We have hope as the work continues in us and through us, for we have this promise that our momentary troubles are just that–temporary. Let the excavation continue then, for joy comes in the morning, and even in the mourning.
“Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” –2 Corinthians 5:2-4