A word from Williams Road: I think I understand.
No, I don’t understand why Eric Rudolph planted bombs to kill innocent people. That baffles me. And, I don’t understand why he holds white supremacist views. That makes no sense.
But, yes, I think I do understand why Rudolph hid for five years in the wooded mountains around Murphy, NC. I know what it is to want to avoid being caught. I also think I understand the relief he felt when he was finally apprehended while rummaging through a dumpster behind Save-a-lot.
I understand because I’ve hidden, too. Haven’t you? There have been too many times when I’ve been hurt, but hid behind a smiling mask, pretending that all was well; too many times when I was guilty, but hid behind a pretense of piety; too many times when I’ve done wrong, or when I failed to do what I should. In each of those times, came the overpowering urge to run, to hide, to cover up.
The problem, though, with hiding is that one cannot hide from himself – or from God. In the darkest caves of the Appalachian Mountains, in the deepest hollow of the Nantahala Forest, a guilty conscience will find us still.
“When I kept silent,” the psalmist David wrote, 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” (Psalm 32:3-4)
Sound familiar? If so, perhaps you too can understand what Eric Rudolph said when arrested after five years on the lam. In spite of a looming prison term and even possible execution, “I’m relieved,” he sighed. He was glad the running and hiding were over.
Sometimes it’s good to come clean, to give up on the cover up. David expressed that, too, “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” (32:5).
God offers each of us the opportunity to come out of hiding, to confess our sins. More importantly, he offers us the chance to be forgiven. It is not imprisonment or death we face by confessing, but freedom and life.
Are you tired of running? Why not come out of hiding and turn yourself in to God? You can tell him anything.
I think he’ll understand.
A Word from Williams Road is provided by the Williams Road Church.
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