Lately I have had multiple conversations with people who have had friends make a mess of their lives. They had been trying to cover up the problems for months and eventually the ‘stuff’ came out. Cover up in business. Cover up in marriage. Cover up in money. Cover up in relationships. Cover up in purity. We have a problem people!
The fact that people have problems is ancient news. We all have problems. But you are way too powerful to wallow in the misery of acting like a victim. Let’s DO SOMETHING [healthy] with our problems.
First, get honest. What’s your problem? The real problem, not the results or symptoms or evidence.
You are succeeding in business beyond your own ability so you feel like a fraud and self-sabotage?
You are surrounded by people and noise and activity but feel incredibly alone and turn to artificial means to give you comfort?
You are starting out in education or business or other life role and feel totally out of control and overwhelmed so medicate to manage your discrepancy?
Failing in marriage…
Failing in finances…
Failing in life…
Feeling scared, vulnerable, weak, like a fraud, overwhelmed, out of control….???
So what are you going to do?
I’m proposing a whole different kind of cover up. Are you interested? It promises a place of safety, security, significance and satisfaction. This cover up will never expose you but keep you, protect you and rescue you. It will lead you into FULLNESS OF LIFE. And the only side effects are POSITIVE!
What is this great cover up?
G O D
Yup. You get God, The ALMIGHTY to cover you up.
Those who live in the shelter (the secret place) of the Most High will rest (remain stable and fixed) under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1
Those who make the Most High their hiding place…. will be COVERED UP by the Almighty.
OK, I’m in! HOW???
1. Get connected
If you’ve never done this before, it’s like starting a relationship… except with a PERFECT Father who actually created you and paid ultimate price to restore full relationship with you. Acknowledge you screwed up on your own, that you need forgiveness and help and that He is the only one that can make this possible as He proved with Jesus Christ being killed on a cross and then resurrected FOR YOU! He paid the price for your freedom and re-connection.
2. Get real. Honest. Vulnerable, not just transparent.
God, your PERFECT Father is SAFE. He is not like any father you have had on earth. He truly is safe. He is completely dependable and reliable and PRESENT.
Transparent is when I tell you what happened. Vulnerable is when I tell you how I felt in the middle of it. Be both transparent AND vulnerable with Him. You may find it easier to journal your thoughts…. THEN say it out loud to Him as if you were talking face to face.
3. Get free.
Think of this like an exchange. You give Him your mess, your problem, your pain, your vulnerability. You give Him your secrets. None or your dirt is too dirty for Him. Take all the junk that you have covered up poorly and give that to Him. He already paid for it so no point holding onto it. Even your best actions are like filthy rags compared to perfection. While you are at it, might as well give him that sickness and disease and debt and relational dysfunction as well. Imagine you are literally holding all these things in your hands and lifting them up to Him.
He was wounded for our sins.
He was bruised for our guilt and our tendency toward immoral behavior.
He took our full punishment so we could have peace.
He was whipped so we would be healed and made whole. (See Isaiah 53:5)
4. Get covered.
This is the part that religion forgets. Religion wants you to stay at the foot of the cross, miserable and focussed on what is wrong with you. Christ wants you experiencing overwhelmingly hope-filled life. The only way to get that is to RECEIVE everything He paid for and RECEIVE the covering of intimacy and friendship and affection that He has for you RIGHT NOW. What you need is in His covering of you.
David (the guy that whipped Goliath and united Israel… then messed up by getting his good friend’s wife pregnant and then trying to cover that up by killing his friend) called this God his covering. “Cover me in the day of war. See Psalm 140:7. You can also.
For me this looks like me finding a place to sit still, free of distraction, and quietly welcoming the covering, the Presence of my Father, to come near. I close my eyes. I say words of appreciation and invitation.
Thank you for being nearer than my skin and closer than the air I breathe.
Thank you for forgetting my mistakes and giving me back life better than I know.
Thank you for being with me and never leaving me alone.
I need your comfort. I need your peace. I need your covering….
Then just sit there and develop an awareness of what you are feeling, hearing, thinking…
5. One more thing
You just got real with God. Now you need to get real with people. That can be scary but you have God covering you and you have cleaned up your mess with him. Now it’s time to do the same with those around you. Who can you start with to become authentic and vulnerable with? Who can you invite to speak into your life? Who can you begin this journey of authentic life with?
Welcome to the greatest COVER UP ever!
BONUS: If you haven’t seen this, check out Dr Brene Brown’s TED talk on the Power of Vulnerability.