Masks today are all the rage, and I’m not talking about the ones designed to protect us from illness. I’m talking about the things we use to cover our problems instead of addressing them. We hide feelings of anger and pain, we hide habits and shortcomings, and we even hide our dependence on things other than God. In fact, some of us are so good at covering so many things that we have forgotten or don’t actually know anymore what’s underneath them. But God is not a God of the dark and hidden. He likes to bring everything out into the light. This week, God gave me an object lesson about hiding problems instead of dealing with them. He showed me that sometimes God takes away our coverings so He can heal the hurt below.
No More Hiding
For several years, my right big toenail has had…well, it had a fungus. It was yellow and ugly and nothing I really wanted others to see. I didn’t know anything about how to fix it except that it would probably be expensive, time consuming, and annoying. It didn’t hurt, and it didn’t seem to be getting worse, though, so I painted it pink along with the other nine and went on my merry way.
A while back, though, God dealt with about giving up cosmetics. Now, that’s not something that He requires of all female believers by any means. It was something personal to me and the place He has put me on my walk with Him. It wasn’t a huge adjustment since I have never been that big into makeup, but there was one tiny issue with my new look. I had to remove the paint from my toes.
Even so, I left the nail like it was for over a year. I hid it with closed-toed shoes and/or just avoided eye contact with it altogether. Recently, though, with the onset of sandal season, I could no longer ignore it. I ordered an ointment and have been faithfully applying for days upon days, several times a day. It was, in fact, expensive, time consuming, and annoying to fix. But, now that I’ve done it, the nail is just about back to the healthy pink that God meant for it to be.
The Reality of the Analogy
As children of God, we are a work in progress. Sometimes God will bring people and situations into our lives that help us on our Christian walk. Sometimes God will remove things that are hindering it. He deals with each of His children individually as He sees fit, and it’s up to us to hear Him and obey.
Some of us have deep wounds and hurts that we cover with smiles and little white lies. I guess we think that it will cost too much to reveal our feelings. Some of us have habits and faults that we cover with crutches. I guess we think it will take too much time to learn new ways of doing things without them. And, some of us have made idols of people or technology that we cover with excuses even to ourselves. After all, it can feel annoying at first to give up the immediate gratification that these things can bring.
With all the beautiful, wonderful gifts that God has given me since He saved me, He has both taken and asked me to remove some things as well. God has taken people and items that were covering the idolatry of dependence. I didn’t realize until they were gone how wrong it was for me to rely on them for comfort and guidance instead of going directly to God. He has asked me to remove the crutch of a credit card that covered poor spending decisions. I had to learn better discipline that has carried over into other areas of my life. And, He has taken a lot of my inner hurts and fears by connecting me with friends who saw through my smiles and enquired about the pain just below them.
Allow God to Deal With You
What is God dealing with you to remove from your life? What could be just under it that He wants to help you heal? Because even if hiding might seem easier for the moment, whatever it costs and however long it takes to fix it, it will be worth it in the end. God never takes anything away without replacing it with something so much better. We just have to trust Him to do it.
Enjoy object lessons? Check out It’s Not the Machine that Makes Us Clean, an analogy involving the dishwasher. Or, try All About That Butterfly Life, a lesson about regret. Please sign up to receive my blog in your email inbox. at the upper right of your screen (or at the bottom on a phone). Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.