This past Sunday Vicki and I were blessed to receive a surprise visit from Mitchell, Traci, and Rilyn. Although they weren’t able to stay long, anytime I get to see them (OK, Rilyn J), it is a special treat. Rilyn is just sixteen months old, but she already likes to play hide and seek with me. Now at this point, our game of hide and seek is fairly simple. I sit in the chair in the living room and Rilyn runs into the kitchen and then comes back out and tries to surprise me. Or sometimes she just pulls her blanket over her head and then she thinks I can’t see her. And of course, for a first time grandpa, the little game we play is so precious and I can only imagine as she grows older she’ll learn to hide so that I will actually have to come looking for her.
As we played our little game, it reminded me of the game of hide and seek Adam and Eve played with God in the Garden of Eden. I’m guessing you’re familiar with their story; basically it went like this. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but then after being deceived, they ate from the tree anyway. That’s when the game of hide and seek started, “6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
Of course the game of hide and seek between Adam and Eve and God wasn’t for fun, but because of the guilt and shame and fear they experienced when their eyes were opened to what they had just done, they tried to hide from God, covering themselves with some fig leaves.
Sad to say, I often find myself playing the same game with God. After doing the things he tells me not to do, I feel guilty and ashamed, and so I try and hide. Often times I try to cover up my rebellion with weak excuses and reasons for justifying my foolish choices. Sometimes I feel afraid of what God thinks of me knowing I repeatedly commit the same sins over and over. I’m guessing you can identify.
Now, I realize God isn’t interested in playing hide and seek when it comes to my sin, but I truly am grateful for his relentless pursuit of finding me. I praise God that he never tires of asking me, “Mike, where are you?” And by his grace I am also learning that there’s no point in trying to hide behind my silly excuses when Jesus has already covered my sin on the cross.
So, when it comes to your relationship with God, do you find yourself hiding? Have guilt, shame, fear, and pride been keeping you from being honest with God? Like Rilyn, may you and I with childlike faith come out of hiding and open ourselves to our Father’s love and forgiveness. Hide and seek is not a game we want to play with God, it’s only for grandpas and grandchildren.
Once was lost, but now am found…