When our kids were little one of our favorite family games was hide-and-seek. Even when they were too small (or too timid) to hide for themselves, we would team up and have a competition to see who could hide in the best place.
Summertime lent itself to hiding outside–sometimes with walkie-talkies so we could taunt our opposition. We would even play in the dark with our flashlights in hand to guide us, then turn them off until we were found. We took great pride in keeping the kids quiet long enough to keep from getting caught, and the camaraderie of hiding together instead of alone gave us shared victories–and even more importantly, shared memories.
While it is more common to play the game hiding alone, waiting in solitary until someone finds you, I don’t recommend this game for young children… not only can they fit in small spaces, but if they are particularly good at keeping quiet, you might really struggle to find them, setting you both up for panic when you can’t. (I can speak from experience!)
Playing hide-and-seek isn’t just a child’s game.
Sometimes we grown-ups play a similar game–one that is much more serious.
“Can a man hide himself in secret places where I cannot see him?”–the Lord’s declaration. Jeremiah 23:24
Jeremiah was an old testament prophet with a message from God:
“For I know the plans I have for you”–this is the Lord’s declaration–“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Yes, this was a message for the exiles that had been deported to Babylon, and yes, it was written over 2,000 years ago, but God often uses Scripture to remind us of something we need to hear:
1) We cannot hide from God. (Why is it that even though we know it to be true, we still pretend that it’s not.)
2) He is not hiding from us. If we will earnestly seek Him, we will find that He was right there waiting for us all along.
There is a certain elation that comes in that single moment when our little game comes to an end with, “I found you!” Screams of delight and laughter erupt when that precious one is “found”.
Do you realize that this joyous reunion is a sweet reminder that our Heavenly Father delights in us as well–when we earnestly seek to find Him–and then follow His command to walk out of the darkness of sin and rebellion and into the light of His love and mercy.
“… I am the Lord, showing faithful love, justice, and righteousness on the earth, for I delight in these things.” Jeremiah 9:24b
The book of Jeremiah is a sad one because the message that God gave him to warn the people went unheeded:
“Yet they didn’t listen or pay attention but walked according to their own advice and according to their own stubborn, evil heart.” Jeremiah 7:24
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with the enjoyment we take in playing games with our children, there is a point in life when you have to choose to quit playing games with God.
Hiding is not an option.
He knows right where you are. The good, the bad and the ugly. Nowhere in Scripture does God say, “straighten out your life and then come find Me.” From the Old Testament to the New, His call is for you to turn to Him, His plans and His ways. It is only in taking that step of FAITH that you will find the answers you seek and the strength to walk in obedience. A life well-lived is one based on full surrender to the One you are seeking.
Regardless of how you might feel, God is not hiding from you–but He does desire that you look for Him.
“The God who made the world and everything in it—He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands. Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:24-27
What are some ways you are seeking God? When was the last time you stopped long enough to focus on Him and ponder what He is doing in your life? Walking in FAITH is more than just checking things off your list of religious activity, it is a conscious choice to make God the focus of your life and look for Him on a daily basis. He should not be far from your thoughts, your emotions or your actions. Why not seek Him today? He wants to #dolifetogether with you!