Humans have used hiding as a means of escape since the Garden of Eden. We hide for a variety of reasons: insecurity, regret, failure, shame, and self-loathing. We hide from others and we hide from God. Ed Welch understands this impulse to hide and in his newest devotional he offers not merely a description or analysis of “why we hide,” but he offer us a way to be found again. A Small Book About Why We Hide offers readers a roadmap to acceptance in Christ.
As part of New Growth Press’s Small Book devotional series, Ed Welch delves into a subject he already has a reputation for addressing. His larger volume Shame Interrupted delves into the complexity and weight of shame, and points readers to freedom in Christ. This little devotional doesn’t merely repeat that book but it dovetails well with it. In A Small Book About Why We Hide, Welch views “hiding” along a spectrum ranging from general insecurity and fear of man to full blown self-loathing. He examines all this hiding, demonstrates how God’s Word speaks to each experience and each individual, and yet offers readers a way to move from hiding into discovery and acceptance.
One of the highlights of the book is the manner in which Welch is able to give words to the painful feelings of insecurity, regret, and shame. He not only knows how to help readers feel understood by him, the author, but more pointedly he points them to God’s own descriptive words. The Bible itself speaks to these feelings and God included in His Holy Word the language of shame. Repeatedly, readers will read Welch’s encouragement that God sees them and understands them. God cares about how they feel and even offers helpful words fro them to express those feelings. Furthermore, He invites them to share those feelings with Him. Their sense of insecurity and shame does not keep Him at a distance. Welch does a tremendous job throughout the devotional of helping the insecure connect with God.
Each devotional is relatively short, with a few days having more depth than others, and concludes with a “response” section. Two questions at the end of the chapter invite the reader to engage with the material. In this regard the book is a great counseling resource. It can be used in counseling sessions to help individuals wrestle with their own feelings, thoughts, and beliefs, and wrestle with the Lord. It also invites them to take steps to challenge those feelings, thoughts, and beliefs with truth. The assignments are accessible but they don’t deny the complexity of these feelings and our life circumstances.
I personally found the devotional to be moving, encouraging, and edifying. While I don’t feel particularly insecure, I found that I struggled more with those feelings than I initially thought, and yet the devotional helped me develop a response to those feelings that honors the Lord and helps me to grow. This whole series has been excellent, but I think this particular volume might be the best one yet. I highly recommend to all A Small Book About Why We Hide.