My husband and I continue to opt for Sunday morning worship online rather than in person. The final picture we recently saw on our computer screen was an open Bible with a mask placed upon it. Our pastor had stepped aside but his Bible and mask remained. I see this image as a prophetic picture of promise. Although we continue to wear facial masks to protect others and ourselves from the ongoing coronavirus, the day is coming when masks will no longer be needed.
Meanwhile, we continue to wait. We anticipate the development of medication and a vaccine. For now, we wear our masks.
However, there are other types of masks we wear. No need to wait for a vaccine to remove these masks.
For example, a smile may mask how we really feel. A smile portrays happiness. But, are you really happy? You may be smiling on the outside but frowning on the inside. You may be tired of the prevailing pandemic heaviness and feeling depressed. You may be apprehensive about what the school year holds for your children. However, you turn your inward frown upside down and other people see only a smiling mask.
God’s Word can help us remove these masks. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Isaiah 61:3 NKJV tells us there is oil of joy available to replace mourning and a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Isaiah 66:5 says, “Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy.” When we experience the joy of the Lord, we are truly happy and do not need a mask. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” II Timothy 1:7 NLT reminds us, “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Words come out of our mouths. Masks cover our mouths. Words can create masks. If you are asked how you are doing, you may be quick to respond that you are fine. However, inside you are not fine. Unrest within our country may be causing unrest within your soul. Your bank account may be dwindling faster than you can replenish it. You try to mask your wounds and worries with words that are not true.
Scripture assists us with removing word masks. Jesus says in Luke 6:45, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” I Peter 5:7 NLT instructs us, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Psalm 19:14 declares, “May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
God is not a proponent of masks. I Chronicles 28:9 says, “the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought.” Jesus says in Luke 12:2 NJKV, “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.”
The truth of these verses are validated in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve made a type of mask of fig leaves. They tried to hide their sinfulness. God saw behind their fig leaves. However, He did not leave them alone wearing fig leaves. He desired a relationship with them. So, He replaced Adam and Eve’s fig leaf masks with garments of animal skin. He was revealing His plan for the blood of Jesus to take away the sins of the world so we can have a personal relationship with Him today.
Just as God dealt with the masks of Adam and Eve, He wants to help us remove our masks. He extends His grace to us. He says in II Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Grace is God’s empowering presence that causes us to be who God created us to be and to do what He has planned for us to do. God wants to help us take off unnecessary masks. No need to wait any longer. God sees behind our masks and knows our hearts.
I continue to think about the prophetic promise I perceived from the image of the Bible and mask. We can stand on God’s Word and His promises that we will get beyond this pandemic and will no longer need to wear masks for physical protection. Meanwhile, God is encouraging us to take off our emotional masks. He desires for us to stop pretending. He knows our secrets and insecurities. He does not want us hiding our feelings from Him. He wants to help. Romans 12:2 NKJV says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
II Corinthians 3:17-18 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” To me, unveiled faces are unmasked faces.