“1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10…ready or not, here I come.”
You will hear this frequently in my house during the weeks I am at home. Many times a day I hear these sweet words come from my six-year-old sister, “Hey Sis, wanna play?” Often this question leads to our nightly bike rides, a game of tag in the basement, or becoming spies and conquering the many villains that hang around our house. Other times, when my energy is lacking I recommend a game of hide-and-seek. It is during these times that the thought of sitting in a quiet closet for a few moments brings a smile to my face, and I must admit, the thought of her sitting in a closet quietly for a few moments brings an even bigger smile to my face. It is during these times that I hide carefully and seek slowly.
While being home for spring break, my sister and I played a few games of hide-and-seek. It struck me that this is not just a game I play when I am home with her; it is a game that I play each and every day with God.
Here’s the flaw to the game- my sister, Maliyah, has the capability of wedging herself into the tiny crevices of the house, whereas I struggle to cram my lengthy legs under a desk. Fortunately, she tends to hide in predictable places, and if I will seek closely, finding her does not prove to be too difficult of a task.
That is God. When we want to seek Him, He is in predictable places.
At certain times in our life He may be standing in the middle of the closet, easy to find and clearly speaking to us. At other periods in our life we may have to look a little closer and seek a little more- maybe under the bed, in the hamper, or under the pile of dirty clothes. At times, finding Him may prove to be more difficult because we must dig through the dirty laundry that seems to be consuming us- the guilt we feel from what we did the other night, the anger we feel from the fight we had with a loved one, the hopelessness we feel from the test results we got back. Every emotion we feel and every thought we have has the potential to hide the One we are seeking, and in order to find Him, we must consciously put it all aside knowing that He is under all the dirty socks waiting to be found.
He doesn’t intentionally hide under the pile of laundry though; He doesn’t hope to not be found. Instead, day by day, choice by choice, thought be thought, we throw pieces of clothing on Him until He is no where to be seen- until we have filled our mind with everything but Him.
The good news is that while He may not be standing in the middle of your closet, when you go to seek Him, He can be found in predictable places. In Scripture. In worship. In prayer. In fellowship.
Slowly but surely, sock by sock, we can begin to uncover Him. We may need to read deeper into scripture or sit in silence longer to wait for His voice. We may need to be more vulnerable and be more real with our emotions. Seeking Him might prove to be a little more difficult and might take some patience, but He is ready to be found.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
We also hide.
We hide under a bed with our feet sticking out of the end. We hide under the sheets, and the lump is so big that it is obviously not mistaken for a pillow. We hide with our legs peeking out from under the desk because we can’t manage to tangle them up in a way that tames them. Our hiding is not impressive. We are not very hidden. We are not very comfortable.
This is how I hid from my sister. This is how we hide from God.
It is unimpressive. It is pitiful. It is silly.
After the words have come out of our mouth, after we think those thoughts, after we give into temptation, after we do what we said we would never do, we run and we hide. We hide in hopes that He won’t find us. That He won’t see what we did or hear what we said. We hide to avoid seeing the hurt in His eyes and hearing the disappointment in His voice.
But even in our best attempts to hide, He sees us. He trips over our feet. He notices the lump in the bed. He sees the legs peeking out from the desk. There is no fooling Him.
“You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139: 1-12
So rather than hide where He already sees us, let’s run into His embrace. Let’s run into his open arms that offer us mercy, grace, forgiveness, joy, peace, and unconditional love. His arms are more comfortable than squeezing under a bed. His love is more comforting than the darkness of hiding under the sheets. His grace is simpler than the puzzle of getting your legs to fit under a desk. He knows our hearts. He knows our thoughts. He sees what we do. There is no hiding from Him.
So rather than hide-and-seek, simply seek. Seek deeply and seek daily. The treasures that you will discover in seeking deeply and daily will lavish you with pure delight and joy, and there will be no need to hide.
About the Author
Hi! My name is Morgan Colander. I am a junior at Lee University in Tennessee studying to be an elementary teacher. I am attempting to survive these college years as I learn to rely more on God and less on myself while being surrounded by new opportunities and decisions. College has presented itself with its difficulties- college budget, college dorms, college food, an endless list of things to do, and plenty of homesickness- but through it all, I have never been more dependent on God and realized how incapable I am to do life without Him. God, family, and friends are all I need to survive in life but some junior mints, a hike up a mountain, laughter, and some sarcasm definitely add some joy to the journey.