Returning to God has always come at a cost. In the scripture we find King Hezekiah coming to power in chapter 18, needing to enact some things declaring whose side he was on. Becoming king at the age of 25 he’d been involved in the government for years seeing the direction of Israel without being in control of it. He began removing the high places and even destroyed the bronze serpent made by Moses himself. The Bible tells us he clung to the Lord doing that which was right.
This Bible story took on new life to me as I came into a much better control of my life around the same age. Sure I had been married and working and living on my own for years now but spiritually I had allowed others to take the lead for me. For the first time I was taking ownership and had choices to make. Do I continue to follow in the footsteps of my father? Do I forsake what I was raised in? Remembering dealing with so many questions put me in a foul mood. So I went to my garage for some busy work. Cleaning out areas that hadn’t been touched in a while and finding things that brought back waves of anger and bitterness. I thought all of these old high places were removed and here I was holding things that used to have such value to me. I had to blink back the tears from the hurt and anger rushing in on me.
For Hezekiah it was removing those places of worship for other gods his father had built. Removing the altars and cutting down the groves didn’t change the landscape of these desirable places. Meaning that on occasion I’m sure he found himself walking along the familiar paths only to be confronted by his past once more. Standing there most likely remembering times with family now understood for what it really was; Idolatry.
For me it was a simple piece of cloth found tucked away for safekeeping. We’d been told that our Prophet himself had prayed over it so many years ago, giving it healing attributes if our faith could hold to it. I remembered being sick and this simple piece of cloth and all it stood for bringing me comfort. I remembered the day I realized the scam behind it and how I had been taught to place my faith in a simple piece of cloth rather than in Christ. Here I was holding the same cloth. A very different man.
So for all of you dealing with the memories and stored nightmares still lurking. The buildings you hate passing, the streets you avoid, the songs that give you anxiety. I understand. Like Hezekiah we again stand in those high places and can do nothing else but praise the One True God for setting us free from the bondage of inanimate objects. Even if it’s something made by a prophet, the high places must be destroyed.