This morning while wandering in my backyard, I heard a little neighbor boy call out playfully to his daddy, “Find me, Daddy! Find me!” Hide and Seek is a cute game we play as children. With tiny babies, we often cover our faces then peek out at them again, “Peek a boo!” They squeal with delight, seeing that we have been ‘found’. This little game is not just a fun thing to do; it helps babies understand that we are not gone forever; we will be back. Have you ever stopped to think about why we hide? As children, hiding can be fun because we get to be found. But what about as adults? Do we hide? If so, why? Is hiding a good thing?
As children, the game of Hide and Seek can answer a set of questions we probably didn’t realize we were asking: Am I significant? Am I worth looking for? Do I matter? The little boy this morning was getting that question answered when his father responded repeatedly to the boy’s pleas with answers such as, “Just a minute,” and “Let me get this done first, then I’ll come.” As parents, we have things that need to be done, priorities; we will play in a few minutes. In a child’s mind, however, this often translates to, “Something else is more important than me.” And thus begins a lifetime of searching to find just how significant we really are.
Recently I have been noticing that our yearnings are often a reflection of God’s character. For example, we desire love; God is Love. We want to know the truth; God is Truth. We yearn for life – real life; God is Life. We desire justice; God is Just. We want to be noticed, sought after; God desires us to know Him intimately, to be sought after. Throughout Scripture, in fact, God repeatedly instructs us, “Seek My face.” So, if God is love, if He is the One who gives us life, and He wants to be found, then why do we hide?
While there are times when hiding is a good thing, like hiding from danger, more often hiding is due to fears, shame, confusion, and misinformation. These turn us away from seeking the One who wants to be found, the One who can help us. Sin gets in the way of finding the Love of our life, of finding the One who gives us significance. We sin. We are sinned against. Because sins are loving self more than loving God or loving others, they carry with them the lies, “You are not worth loving.” “You are not significant.” “You do not matter.” Over time, without forgiveness, these lies pile up in our hearts. We begin to believe they are true. We sin against God and assume He does not love us because we are not worth loving. We come to believe that He is only out to punish us. We bear the shame of doing wrong, become confused, and believe lies. Instead of running TO the One who wants us, we run AWAY. We hide.
Our Relationship With God
In Genesis, Adam and Eve had a great relationship with God. Perfect, in fact! They probably played games like Hide and Seek with God because He was their Daddy. So why did they hide in fear and shame as soon as they realized they had broken their Dad’s rule to not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? What an overwhelming reaction to God one little sin causes in our lives! Fear, broken relationship, vulnerability, aloneness. Death to the good things we had. Blindness to the solution, which is running to God, confessing our sins to Him, and seeking reconciliation.
In Deuteronomy 4:29-31, God is speaking through Moses to the Israelites. He has been putting the plan in place ahead of time for if (really when) they turn against God and in His wrath He must drive them out of the land. The plan includes this statement:
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the LORD your God and obey His voice (for the LORD your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them. (Deuteronomy 4:29-31 NKJV)
I find this amazing! God loved them so much that He put in place a plan to rescue, deliver, and restore them, even though He KNEW they were going to complete disregard God and begin worshiping idols. Better yet, God did all of that for us, too. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NKJV) Romans 5:10 uses the word “enemies” to describe us. Amazing! Before we existed, when God knew full well that we would sin – even what specific ugliness we would commit – while we were His ENEMIES, He set in place a plan to demonstrate His love. Yet we turn in fear from this overwhelming gift!
God has repeatedly shown that He is merciful. He has promised to neither destroy us nor forsake us. He loves us! There is no reason to hide. When we “come to our senses” and realize that we have sinned, we need to run to God. He is the One who can help. He is the One who loves us. He wants us. He is seeking us. It is time to seek Him. “Find me, Daddy! Find me!”