Sunday, July 22, 2007

Removing the mask

You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. (Psalm 139:2)

A ‘mask’ is described in the dictionary as a ‘disguise over a true feature’. In other words, what is portrayed on the outside is different from what it really is. For whatever reasons, many of us have put on masks so that our true self will not be made known to others.

When circumstances have destroyed our lives, we try to put on masks to make us appear strong and OK on the outside. We try our best to drown ourselves in work and relationships. We try to achieve success in different areas of our lives to cover up our pain. We try to laugh, work, talk, and even go to church like other people. But deep inside our hearts, we’re breaking. When that hard shell is broken, the yolk inside will flow out.

So many of us are perfect in acting that we’ve never been hurt. Some feel ashamed of their pain, while there are others who simply do not want to bother other people. However, no matter how much you can try to hide and deny your suffering, your eyes will always show it, for your eyes are the windows of your heart.

We even try to hide from God. We try to cover up our emotions when we come before Him, not realizing that God knows exactly (and maybe even better than we do) what we are going through. He saw the tears that you tried so hard to hide. He saw the sadness behind that smile.

The first step to receiving our healing is to remove that mask. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32). I used to wonder what this meant (I mean, we are all sinners, not one righteous among us), but it did struck me when God revealed this to me: it is only when you admit that you are sick that you’ll go to a doctor or take your medication. A man suffering from cancer but does not admit that he needs medical attention will not consult a doctor.

In the same way, the first step to healing is to quit denying. Stop hiding and acting as if you’re OK when you are actually not. Admit to God that you are hurt and you need His healing. Allow the Lord to begin that process of restoration. Remember, God is not surprised by what we tell (or are going to tell) Him because He already knows what is happening; He just wants you to bring them before Him.

Healing can never begin if you keep pretending. Jesus will never force you to receive His healing. Nevertheless, the price has been paid over 2,000 years ago. By His stripes we are healed. The only thing now lies with us: are we going to receive that healing?

I understand that after putting on that mask for so long, it will be difficult for us to remove it and expose our true conditions. We may feel vulnerable. We may be afraid at what other people will think, or rather, what God will think. But God will never despise our pain, nor will He reject us when we hurt. In fact, the Lord is closed to the broken-hearted, and He binds up their wounds (Psalm 34:18). And from Isaiah 61:1-3, most of what Jesus is anointed to do is to minister to the brokenhearted.

Do not live in denial any longer. Receive the healing and wholeness that God has for you and start living a victorious life. Remove that mask!

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