We are all hiding something and fear being found out. We live in a world where often people are exposed for the purposes of public shaming. We are constantly being bombarded and baited with headlines like “You will never guess what Insert Celebrity did!”, “Exposed”, “Secrets Revealed”, etc. We click, we are horrified, and we are shocked just as promised. It further reinforces our need to hide, lest we too are exposed and receive the same kind of treatment. However, God wants to expose you. God wants to expose you not for the purposes of shame but for the purposes of healing. God knows that you cannot heal and hide at the same time.
As soon as Adam and Eve ate of the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil their eyes were opened, they realized they were naked, and they clothed themselves with fig leaves (Genesis 3:7). There is a cosmic shift in the self-awareness of creation. God had reflected on creation and deemed it “good”, creation reflected upon itself and thought “not so good”. The fig leaves allowed them to hide from themselves and each other.
Then God comes strolling through the garden and calls out to Adam “Where are you?” Adam’s response is that he’s hiding because he’s naked and afraid. Although clothed with fig leaves Adam feels naked and exposed in the presence of God. Evidently the fig leaves had limited effectiveness.
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13
It would be one thing if the story of Adam and Eve was just a story we told children about the origin of humanity. However, it’s more than that. Adam and Eve’s story is our story. We break relationship with God, cover ourselves with fig leaves, and live our lives feeling naked and afraid.
We all have fig leaves that allow us to hide, they just look different. They are the fig leaves of anger, success, isolation, work, children, money, busyness, faux-happiness, addiction, etc. They allow us to hide in relationships insuring people don’t get too close. The fig leaves allow us to put a false sense of who we are forward while we hide our true self. Problem being, as long as our true self is hidden we cannot experience true love. Not the Disney happily-ever-after true love, but the Jesus I-love-you-uncondionally true love. Even if people embrace us lovingly, our fear is that they only love what we have put forward. We think if they truly knew the things that were hidden, they would not love us but reject us. This only amplifies and justifies our need to hide all the more.
God loves you too much to leave you in hiding, naked and afraid. God tells us in his Word, he knows everything (Psalm 139:1-4) AND he loves you unconditionally (Romans 8:35-39). God’s love for you is based in his character, not yours (or lack thereof). We are also told that God’s perfect love will cast out all fear (1 John 4:18). God is calling you out of hiding, he knows everything, yet still loves you, and there is nothing to fear. Could it get any better?! But wait there’s more! When we come into his presence he will not leave us naked, but he will clothe us.
After God calls out Adam and Eve he takes from them their fig leaves and gives them garments of skin. God takes from us our brokenness and gives us wholeness, he takes our unrighteousness and gives us his righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30). This is a large part of our journey with God. Allowing God to disrobe you so that he may clothe you. God is calling out to you, beckoning “Where are you?” wondering if you will come out of hiding and allow him to clothe you.