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Hiding
Acts 24:16

Hiding
Girl in a field with daisies
Acts 24:16 -“So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”

I was about five years old when my maternal grandfather died. My parents and three older siblings travelled out of town for a couple of weeks to help my grandmother, leaving my younger brother and me home with our paternal grandparents, who were in their 80’s at the time. I got bored very quickly since we were confined to our farm (my grandparents did not drive), and I decided to play a trick on everyone by hiding. From my secret place I could see my grandfather and my three-year-old brother outside looking for me – bundled up against the cold November rain and trudging through the fields, calling my name. My grandmother was frantically searching the house and praying that I was ok. This was great fun for a while until my conscience started to bother me, and I realized I was scaring everyone for no reason. I quietly came out from hiding and tapped my grandmother on the shoulder. She was so happy to see me, of course, but I could tell she was rather annoyed that I had worried them on purpose. I felt even worse after she shared the story with my parents when they finally came home. I continued to feel guilty over the years, and one of our last conversations before she passed away 15 years later was about how scared she was that day.
I have thought about this experience a lot as I have gotten older and have a daughter and granddaughter of my own. I understand very clearly now how worried they were about me, and how unfair my actions were to them. God wants us to be honest with him, not trying to hide our sins or to play games with our faith. Nothing is hidden from him, of course, like I tried to be from my grandparents, but he still wants me to confess my sins and ask for forgiveness. Only by being truthful with him (and others) can we have a clear conscience and a peaceful heart.
Prayer Dear Father, playing games and tricking others only hurts all of us in the end. Living a life of honesty is the best way to have a clear conscience – help me today and every day to live a life pleasing to you. Amen.

-Betty Gossell

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Betty Gossell

Betty Gossell

Betty Gossell

Betty Gossell

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