hand holding a scorpion

What Will You Find In the Darkest Tightest Folds of Your Soul? 

When my husband and I travelled to visit-and hopefully encourage-global workers around the world, I confess, some countries got more prayer than others. The prayers usually had to do more with the creatures than the people. Some of those countries came with how-to instructions. 

“Always shake out your clothes before you put them on.”

“Make sure to turn your shoes upside down before you put them on.” 

“Shake out the towel before you dry yourself.” 

These are the things nightmares are made of. 

And the clincher. 

Don’t sit on the toilet without first checking what else might be in or on it. 

In those tiny folds of fabric, dark toes of the shoe, or clinging to the under seat of the toilet, things like tarantulas, scorpions and snakes hid.  

On one of those trips, we landed at perhaps the bravest family I’ve ever known. They were accustomed to what comes in must go out. I however, was not. 

We slept (it’s a relative term) under a net. The tile roof above was open at places to the outside. Whatever decided to be on the roof had an open door to the inside. 

“What you can’t see in the light comes out in the dark,” the lady of the house told me with a chuckle while she adjusted the net that protected our bed.  

My husband, the ever practical man who grew up in one of those countries, debated the merits of a net. “Of course the net also keeps in whatever can’t get out.” 

Thank you, dear. 

crab looking out from his hole in the sand

Crab on Norfolk beach – photo by Philip Schroeder

While they bonded with stories of plate-sized tarantulas and six-foot long snakes, my prayers intensified. They increased as my wide-eyed night passed.

At times life is like that. It shakes out of us the worst critters hidden in the deepest nooks and crannies of our beings. From the littlest things to big, a child’s meltdown or a broken faucet, an unexpected bill or a stubbed toe. 

Things we didn’t know were lurking slither out, pettiness, comparison, envy, and greed. We play a blame game, are unkind or say what we shouldn’t. And sometimes, we wonder, where in the world did that come from?!  

When stress and fear push on my chest, when I feel the accusation from another, or health issues strike, these are times when I wonder where had it all been hiding before?

God sees into the darkest, tightest folds of my soul that I can’t see and turns them inside out to be stark naked in plain sight. His Word and His Spirit reveal what’s hidden. He loves me that much. 

Moses’ prayer in Psalm 90:8 acknowledges the illuminating spotlight on even secret sins. “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.” Psalm 90:8 ESV

This too is a mark of His goodness.  

David recognized his need for God to search deep. 

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 KJV  

David wanted to know what was in the cracks. He asked God to reveal what He saw. He was willing to be changed. He invited God’s presence into all the spaces. 

God’s Word, like a spotlight casts its beam here and there within. It illuminates places oblivious to us and shines light on what we’d rather not be aware of. It removes what’s not supposed to be there. 

Growing in Christ allows Him into every nook and cranny. It calls out of hiding the muck of sin again and then again. It invites His searching, knowing, and seeing. 

God’s Word is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

Strongs Concordance describes this discernment as “tracing out and passing judgement on the thoughts of the mind.” 

I know the lady of that home did her best to sweep clean and eliminate every scurried creature out of her house. I can also imagine the impossibility of keeping them from returning.

I did not overcome my over-the-top aversion to slimy, creepy, crawly creatures while I was there. But I am thankful my Heavenly Father loves me so much He is ready to house clean. I’m grateful for Him reaching deep into places only He can, so that what comes out reflects His light.  

Join me in my prayer for today. (see article “A Cleaned Cup” p. 12)

Search me. 

Know me. 

Try me. 

Lead me.




*feature photo by sippakorn yamkasikorn on Unsplash

15 Replies

  1. J.D. Wininger Reply

    More wisdom shared ma’am. If I’m honest with myself, there are dark places that I would prefer God not see, but I must remember that darkness cannot overtake the Light, but light will always overpower darkness.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks J.D. Isn’t it an amazing thought and so comforting to remind ourselves the LIGHT is greater than darkness. I always appreciate your encouraging responses.

  2. Rebecca Powell Reply

    Thanks, Sylvia, for shedding the light of God’s Word in our lives.

  3. Lois S. Reply

    Thanks Sylvia. Your article is worth rereading and remembering. It is a point of growth to be willing for the hidden things to be exposed and removed, to invite God’s presence and light into the dark places they lurk, instead of working to keep them hidden. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Nancy E. Head Reply

    May we be willing to see our own sin and repent of it. Wonderful post, Sylvia! God bless!

  5. Pat Morris Reply

    Sylvia, I so enjoy reading everything that you post. Interestingly, my devotions this week has been Psalm 139. This was just another perspective in the God that is all knowing of every part of our lives.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      I love when God seems to re-emphasize something I’ve just read. Love hearing from you and thank you for the encouragement!

  6. Katherine Pasour Reply

    God sees all–the darkness, the fear, the sin we wish to hide. Cleaning up can be painful, but I’m so thankful our Father is filled with love, light, patience, forgiveness, and understanding and is always with us through the clean-up process. On another note, I don’t like creepy-crawlies and slithery things and have great admiration for your work in those areas where such critters are present in the house with you.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Ha! I think of you as Nature-Woman, and I’m a little awed by it. It was however a privilege to be with so many people around the world whose entire mission was to see others come to Christ and a body of believers established. It was worth the creepy crawlies.

  7. Julie Wilcke Reply

    this was a good one!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Julie! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Great to hear from you!