"Okay, Mom, you stay there, and I'll go find you!" That's how Abby starts every single game of hide and seek that we play. The rule is that I sit on the couch, and Abby runs into the other room, counts loudly, and then slowly makes her way back toward the couch "looking" for me in every place she can think of.
It's quite comical. Eventually, she finds me - even though she really knew where I was all along because she told me where to hide.
That sounds an awful lot like my relationship with the Lord lately. I like to play Hide and Seek with Him, but I don't play according to His Word. I make up my own rules and I play backwards.
How does He want us to "Hide and Seek", according to His Word?
Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
from the wicked who oppress me,
from my deadly enemies who surround me.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
in the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD!
Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation;
preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
from the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
who sharpen their tongue like a sword...
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed,
a refuge in times of trouble.
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You;
for You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints!
there is no want to those who fear Him.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD!
Call upon His name;
make known His deeds among the peoples!
Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
talk of all His wondrous works!
Glory in His holy name;
let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD!
Seek the LORD and His strength;
seek His face evermore!
There are so many other verses about hiding and seeking. To me, it is clear that God wants us to hide in Him, not from Him; to seek Him at all times, not just when life is at its worst.
And that's where I tend to get it backwards!
It usually starts when I get lazy about taking every thought captive obedient to Christ. When I think, "hey, it's okay to overeat/not do chores/snap at the girls/just go a bit above the speed limit/be rude to Will...just this once. I mean, I'm justified...I've had a bad day (insert any lame excuse here). When I give a place to a "tiny" sin. Then I have to save face before God, and I start hiding FROM Him. It's ALWAYS a bad idea. Adam and Eve tried it too - and they didn't get away with it, either (see Genesis 3).
Then that little sin can get out of control and before I know it, I'm cranky, proud, stubborn, easily provoked, and a whole host of other nasty things. Hiding from God (by not praying and not being in the Word daily and by "covering up" my sin by doing other good things) leads to ruin. Ruin in my home. Ruin in my spiritual life. And that leads to needing to seek God and His mercy. Don't get me wrong - I am SO thankful that His mercies are new every morning, but I think He'd rather me not choose sin in the first place! He wants to be sought because of my love and passion for who He is, not because I've told Him "okay, You stay here, and I'll go find you!" only to wander back to Him at the end because I knew where He was all along and I'd exhausted all other possibilities.
Friend - are you hiding in God's love and grace, or are you hiding from God because your sin prevents you from wanting Him to find you out? Are you seeking God because you delight in Him and want to see His face and give Him glory, or are you seeking Him because you've exhausted all other possibilities and He's your last resort?
He makes it clear in the Bible that He wants to be our refuge in times of trial and in the 'regular' times too. He is a strong tower and a mighty fortress, and He longs for us to place our safety and trust in Him. To hide our vulnerable, mortal selves in His everlasting strength and might. So, run to Him. Hide in His strength. Seek Him in the good times - He says that when you seek Him with all your heart, you'll find Him! Don't wait until you're at your most desperate hour to seek Him. Let today be the day that you recognize that you can't hide your sin from God, and that you can find freedom and hope and life in seeking Him right now!
Only by His grace!
Only for His glory!
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. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. [Hebrews 4:12-13]
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity... [Jeremiah 29:12-14]
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