I have an old disposable camera. I found it, and started playing around with it. I took pictures on a road trip and when the pictures were developed, they had a great yellow tint due to the expired film. The camera was easily opened, so I got the idea to re-load the disposable camera. While this isn’t the point of a disposable, I had to give it a shot. I watched how-to videos and with my girlfriend, we tried it. I got about half way and stopped as the YouTube tutorial guy mentioned that you need a dark room or else the film would be exposed. Whoops! I had exposed a good bit of the film in the process, so when the pictures were finished developed, they had red where light had polluted the film. It got me thinking though, film works by exposing in a flash to capture the image wanted. In order to get the shot, you have to expose the darkness to the light. This has gotten me thinking, and it fits in well with our topic on fear.
One of the biggest fears we have, is revealing our true selves. The things we’ve done aren’t always great, the scars and secret struggles we often never want anyone to know about. We fear it because we are afraid of the judgement that will come. So, often, the solution is to keep it hidden. Hide away our issues and secret sins, it can’t hurt anyone if no one knows, right? Well, if you have been keeping up with this series you know that b-movies would say you are quite wrong. The survivor who gets infected by the zombies or aliens always ends up trying to hide it, and it bites them (or others for that matter) in the butt. It makes me think of the wolf-man, classic universal monster who got bit by a werewolf (bummer, dude), and he knows that on the full moon he becomes a danger to others. You see, in these silly stories, no matter how well you try to hide the infection, it always explodes in your face, not only hurting you, but others around you. Your secret sin, the thing that no one knows, one day is going to hurt you and others even more than you know, it’s time to expose the darkness.
We’ve all got baggage.
One thing I know is true for all of us, we’ve all messed up. We all have struggles and fall short, we’re humans, it’s kind of our thing. We are sinners, but we have a God that loves us so much, he sent his own son to die for us; bridging the gap so we could have a relationship with him. One of the things that holds many of us back is the fact that we try to seem perfect once we make the choice to follow Jesus. That’s not biblical, you aren’t perfect, and you never will be. So, don’t listen to the lies of the enemy or others who try to tell you that you aren’t living up to an image. That’s how people start wearing masks, and masks hurt. We need to be open and vulnerable about our struggles so that we can work through the spirit to live in freedom. Don’t hide it in the closet of your heart. Numbers 32:23 says, “But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.”
We’ve all got baggage, so don’t hide it. Hiding your weakness only makes you seem strong, what it actually does is weaken your heart and prevent you from being vulnerable to the spirit. It hurts yes, the addictions, scars, struggles; they all feel earth shattering. They are, but we are not called to live in fear, we are called to a relationship. Strong relationships are open and honest, fear is from the enemy, and the devil is a liar.
Reveal the beautiful picture.
The thing about photos is, when you expose the film to light, it captures and image that tells a bigger story. That’s why I love photos so much, they tell a story. By revealing the crud of your heart, you create a beautiful picture of freedom. You move from death to life. I’ve seen people open up about their struggles with pornography, alcoholism, self-loathing, past tragedies that were done to them, and an array of other things that plague many of us. I’ve seen two things happen. I’ve seen some of these people open up in small groups and others around them to expose their struggle, in order to get help that they desperately need. I’ve also seen what happens when it’s too late, when the people struggle and hurt themselves or walk away, and they fall victim in many ways. I don’t want anyone to fall because of their hidden struggles anymore. Fear has taken the lives of too many in my life, and I want you to walk in freedom. Ephesians 5:13 says, “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.”
Your exposure creates a beautiful story, and that story becomes a beacon of light to others around you. The more we open up, the more others will. When we all step into the light, we can find healing and be rescued from sin that ensnares us. Become a light to others, expose the darkness and become a beacon of freedom through Christ.
I know it’s hard. I’ve dealt with depression and self-loathing, still do, but I have people around me that I talk to, in order to live in the light. I refuse to let fear take-over me, fear is from the devil and the devil is a liar. I choose to walk with my savior, living in freedom, dependently on him alone. Like film in a camera, I choose to expose the darkness because I know God uses my story like he wants to use yours. God is mighty, bigger than any mountain you face, it’s time to live in the live.
Choose freedom in Christ, be exposed to light.
Author’s note: I spoke on depression today, and when I mention it, I know how dark life can seem. I know that you feel alone and hurt, but there is hope. There is always someone there for you and I never want you to feel like you have no other option. If you are feeling suicidal thoughts, I want you to call this number (844) 359-6685
There is always hope, and your life has value. You are so worth loving.