Secrets can be a great place of intimacy or they can be a place of shame that separates because of manipulation and sin.
“Secrets don’t make friends.”
We’d say this if we were jealous and wanted this supposed top-secret information. We don’t like to be on the outside; we want to be in the know. Maybe you’ve been in on a surprise for someone else. If you’ve ever learned what it feels like to ruin the privilege of a keeping this secret, you know what it feels like to be on the outside.
I believe that’s what Adam and Eve felt–they had the most intimate secret to keep. But their mistake is not where it ends for us.
You know the story: Adam and Eve sinned because they ate the one fruit God instructed them not to (what we can’t have always looks the best, huh?). They notice they’re naked and they are shameful, so they hide. It’s our first instinct to keep secrets from God. We don’t want him to see our mistakes, and we certainly don’t want him to know our sin. We feel more comfortable to run, hide, and bury our sin. These secrets we keep from God separate us. They pit our ugly sin against a holy, perfect God. And why would we want that exposed? So we cover. We hide. We keep it a secret.
And isn’t it just like God to come closer to us even in our sin? I mean, he’s been doing this since Eden. If that wasn’t enough, he sent Jesus to reel us in closer even after Israel rejected God. Here we are today still struggling with this urgency to not let God see us and love us through imperfection; we can’t seem to fathom it.
God is so good at bridging the gap that he took our ugly secrets and turned them into intimacy with him–the secret place with him. This is my favorite secret with God because it’s one I don’t feel a heavy weight over. It’s a secret that brings freedom. You’ll notice that in Genesis 3:21 when Adam and Eve are trying to hide under their own clothes, God comes to give them new covering. God just wants to have the secret place with us–it’s the space we share with him that connects us to him.
Now I know that I have tried to keep secrets from God, and I’d assume you have too. And I know how it hurts to feel that distance between our guilt and His holiness. It makes it seem irreparable. Yet he still restores that secret place with us. He sent Jesus to physically be this closeness, and his Holy Spirit to be close to us now, even after Jesus isn’t physically with us in 2018. This is his restoration of the secret place we traded for the secret sins we kept.
And can you believe that all this time he still had that grand plan for us? It started before we could use language of any kind. He formed us in the secret place. Psalm 139:15-16 reminds us that absolutely nothing was hidden from God when he made us in secret; He planned out our days long before we knew of them. We were fully exposed before him while he was creating us and shaping us. We were exposed at our worst, yet fully known and fully loved for it.
And when I am imperfect, my tendency is to hate my sin and run from God. I don’t want him to see my mess. I am good at concealing. After all, we don’t normally invite people over to a messy house, or post pictures of our weakest moments. We don’t know what it is to be loved in our mess because we are trained to correct it. Yet God loves anyway. It’s unfathomable, and it is my best secret to share with you. He has corrected our shameful secrets and restored them with the secret place with him. And he’s multifaceted enough to share this space with every individual on this planet, because he shared it with you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).
I would challenge you to reevaluate whether you share secrets with God or keep them from God. I promise that God wants to be close to you, and he wants you to be free and restored.
Lean in to the secret place.