The “Professional Hide and Seek Tournament” was a complete failure, as players were impossible to find!
We’ve all played the game. We’ve placed our hands over tightly clenched eyes, without peeking(?) and commenced the slow count from 1 to 10. “Coming ready or not!” And the search commences in earnest. Look first in the normal hidey spots; then look for things that seem a bit out of place; then start looking in the really unusual places. My best hiding spot ever was up on the computer desk, hiding under a large towel which covered, back in those days, a rather bulky sized computer monitor. I hid up on that desk for ages, unnoticed!
There have been all sorts of funny things going around to bring a smile to our faces, in the midst of this very difficult passage of time. One of my absolute favourites is this: https://youtu.be/ICE7Oak6sF4 The child is looking for her dad on the couch, but can’t see him as he has taken on the look of the couch, in a particularly clever way!
Hands up (you are at home – so you can let yourself be vulnerable here) if you have ever wanted to disappear? Have you ever wanted to hop on the next train out of town to anywhere, to go into hiding for a time; to find some solitude; to escape the mounting pressure or to avoid the pending doom that awaits? Have you ever considered how you might feign your own disappearance? Have you ever wanted the ground to open up and swallow you delivering you from embarrassment, ridicule or humiliation? Okay – hands down. . . I’d be very surprised if no-one raised their hand throughout that series of questions! I reckon that there are times in life that all of us wish we could take flight and disappear. There is nothing new about this, of course. Through the ages, many people have run away or gone into hiding to avoid a situation.
One of my all-time favourite Bible characters, Elijah was one such person. As a mighty prophet, He had just experienced the most amazing mountain top moment, where He had proved God’s power and sovereignty over the Baal worshippers. It was an incredible story of victory. (Read the account for yourself: 1 Kings chapters 18-19) But immediately after this, Elijah became anxious and perplexed. Jezebel was after him – to kill him so he ran to seek a place of refuge; a place to hide. He ended up in a cave – (1 Kings 19:9) and there, some of the most telling words about God’s character are spoken. “What are you doing here Elijah?” Notice what God did not say. “What are you doing there Elijah?” God’s words infer correctly that He was right there, in the cave with Elijah. Just say, God also knew why he was there, but wanted to give Elijah the opportunity to plead his case, before getting alongside to encourage him. How good is our God – that’s a statement, not a question!
At times we too want to hide. Some of the places we choose to hide are virtual; we are here, but we are not here. Sometimes we hide behind a mask of bravado, confidence or togetherness. Perhaps we take ourselves out of circulation and hope we’re not missed. (Easily done at present.) But perhaps the reality is that we are hiding something else: the truth. Perhaps the truth is that we are not okay and that we need help more than we need our space or to be in seclusion.
I want to assure you, God comes to meet us right where we are – even if it is not the place, we think He thinks we should be. And why? Because He loves and cares about us. He wants us to be victorious; to also prove His power and His sovereignty over all the things that threaten to overwhelm us. Be very sure that God is keenly seeking out those who are hiding. Fun as the game might be, “Hide and Seek” is not a game that God is good at, for He says, “I will be found, by those who seek me, with all of their heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
PRAYER: Thank-you God, for searching relentlessly for those who are hiding or lost. Give us hearts to do the same, to reach out to those who need to be found; and help us to diligently seek You in all our ways. Amen.
SONG: GOD OF ALL MY DAYS by Casting Crowns – https://youtu.be/RocPcgqCDE0