“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth,” Isaiah 54:4
God said, “Come here.”
“I am too dirty.” I replied and hid my face in shame.
“How will you ever be washed clean without me?” God asked.
Shame. All of us have felt it at some point in our lives. It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it? It destroys everything good in its path. It causes us to think and behave in negative ways. Sometimes shame belongs to us. We have done something that we know is wrong. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, we stand before God, guilty. Other times, shame belongs to someone else, yet we feel it, like the shame of having been sexually, emotionally or physically abused. Does God want us to feel shame? No.
In the Garden of Eden, God knew that Adam and Eve had done what He had forbidden. They ate from the tree of knowledge. They sinned. God could have allowed them to continue to wear the clothing that they had created to hide their nakedness, but instead, He fashioned clothes for them. He didn’t want them to live in shame. God wants to heal us of the shame that breaks our hearts and souls. (“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3)
How does God heal our shame? With His love. When you allow God’s steadfast love into your heart, shame fades away. You are made new. Your slate is wiped clean. You begin to feel confident as you give your life and your will over to the care of God. You start to see that you have enough. You realize that you do enough. You understand that with God, you are enough.
God’s love is mighty! “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17) He will rejoice over us! He will quiet us when we are in turmoil. He will show elation and jubilation for us! What a strong love we can count on. How much does God love us? Enough that He sent His only son to redeem us. (John 3:16)
There is nothing you have done that God can’t wash clean. There is nothing that someone else has done to you, that God can’t wash clean. Don’t allow your shame to keep you from God. Let it be the thing that leads you into His loving arms. Let God tenderly hold you to His heart. Let Him wash you clean. Let Him fashion new clothes for you.
F.R.O.G. Practice: Kneel before God in humble submission. Confess your sins and character defects. Ask for forgiveness. Open your heart to the outpouring of God’s love. Lift your face to Him as He rejoices over you with gladness and elation!