by Sheri Schofield
Tim and I had just arrived in Oklahoma with all our possessions in the back of our small pickup truck, and our toddler, Drew, squeezed into the front seat with us. While Tim headed off to his first classes in medical school, I stayed home and arranged our tiny apartment.
That evening, I heard a shuffling noise outside the door, then Tim walked in carrying a long, thin box. “What’s that?” I asked.
“It’s my skeleton,” Tim said, grinning. He laid it down on the couch and opened the box. Drew dashed over to see what Daddy had brought home. Tim scooped him up and started explaining the contents of the box. Drew was intrigued!
My only question was, “Where are we going to put it?
We searched the apartment for a place where we could put it. “It fits under the bed,” Tim suggested.
“Not under my side!” I shuddered. Tim laughed. We slid the box with its long-expired contents under Tim’s side of the bed.
Later that week when I was vacuuming, I found Drew in the bedroom with the skeleton box pulled out. He was playing with the skeleton’s jaw. We couldn’t risk having the skeleton broken by our toddler, so we moved it to our walk-in closet. There it stayed for one full semester. Tim and Drew had great times studying it together. It made a wonderful father-son activity. I am sure that this early introduction to medicine influenced Drew as he grew older, as he became a registered nurse.
Each of us has secret things in our lives – skeletons in our closets – that we must examine. Secret hurts or actions from the past affect our outward behavior. When we bring them out into the open and talk about these things with Jesus, we change the impact those things have in our lives. If they are problems we can discuss with our children, the skeletons can become learning tools to give our children a better understanding of how to cope with difficult things.
King David had a skeleton in his closet. He wanted Bathsheba, the wife of one of his warriors. He sent for her in secret and became her lover. When she became pregnant, David had her husband sent to the front lines of battle, where he was killed. Then David sent for Bathsheba and officially married her. He thought all was hidden and that he had gotten away with it.
But God told Nathan the prophet, who confronted David. The king’s response was instant repentance. “I have sinned against the LORD,” he confessed (2 Samuel 12:13, NIV). God forgave David, but the baby died as punishment for the sin. Yet from that union with Bathsheba, God brought another baby, Solomon, into the world, the eventual great king of Israel. Judgment for David was tempered with mercy and grace, because of his sensitivity to God. Acts 13:22 (NIV) remarks: “God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. ‘ ”
None of us are going to get through this life without secret skeletons in our closets. But when we follow David’s example and deal with those sins openly before God, we begin the healing process. For Jesus took on himself the judgment of God for all sins, and he gives life and healing to all who trust him. He replaces sorrow with joy! He turns us into people after his own heart.
“Surely you desire truth in the inner parts… Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow . . . Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me . . . Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:7, 10, 12, NIV
About the author: Sheri Schofield, an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years, has just released her new book, The Prince And The Plan, to help parents lead their children into a saving knowledge of Jesus. Sheri was named Writer of the Year for 2018 at Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
Join the Conversation: What skeletons do you have in your closet?