When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. -Psalm 32:3
When I was a teenager, my high school was just a few miles from my home. My lunch break was a mere 35 minutes, but I enjoyed driving home and taking a respite from the hustle and bustle of the crowded hallways.
Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was a sleepy little town with a railroad track that ran down the middle of downtown, dividing it into two counties. There was a fledgling minor league baseball team that ranked in Sports Illustrated as the worst housing conditions in the league, and a Hardee’s fast-food restaurant on every corner, reminding us that the corporate office for the chain was just down the street. We slept with our windows open, left home with our doors unlocked, and as children we rode our bicycles all over town without a hint of reservation.
But times changed in the late sixties and early seventies. We began to keep our windows closed at night and our doors locked even during the day. Kids stayed much closer to home. At our house, we kept an extra key in the mailbox just inside the doorless garage. The only people who knew it was there were our family and the mailman…or so we thought.
During my high school years when I went home for lunch at 12:10 every day, I simply retrieved the key from the mailbox and then placed it back until I came home again at 3:15.
One day I came home after school at the usual time, used the hidden key, and let myself in. Before grabbing a snack, I made a beeline to the television to turn on my favorite program. When I opened the door, I realized the TV was missing.
I didn’t know anything was wrong with the TV, I thought. Mom must have taken it into the shop for repairs.
I called Mom at her craft store.
“Hello, Bee N’ Beetle. May I help you?”
“Hey, Mom. This is Sharon. Did you take the TV in for repair?”
“No, I didn’t. Why?”
“Well, because it isn’t here.”
“What do you mean, it isn’t there?”
“It’s not here. The cabinet is empty.”
“Is anything else missing?” she asked with a hint of fear in her voice.
“I don’t know. Let me check.”
I didn’t have to look far to see that a few other items were gone. When I came back to the phone to report, my mother said, “Sharon, quick! Get out of there!”
When the police came, we discovered that someone had indeed broken into our house and taken many things. And how did he get in? Why, he used the hidden key!
Apparently, someone had been watching me. He knew I came home at 12:10 and left again at 12:45. He also knew I came home from school around 3:15. So between 12:45 and 3:15, he simply took the key from the mailbox, let himself in, and helped himself to our belongings. Then, when he had what he wanted, the thief locked the door behind him and put the key back in the mailbox for “safekeeping.”
That’s exactly what Satan does in our lives. He watches us and knows exactly where that hidden key to our secret places lies. Then, at the most opportune times, he unlocks the door to steal our peace and joy. The Bible tells us that Satan is a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Sometimes the hidden parts of our hearts, the ones that we have not given to God, are where Satan wants to sink his teeth. As long as we have that key hidden, Satan can get to it.
There’s only one solution: Don’t hide the key. Give the key to every compartment of your heart to God.
Taken from: Listening to God Day by Day. Copyright © 2011 by Sharon Jaynes. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR. Used by permission.