We have six grandkids, two boys and four girls. Two of them live here in our area, and four of them live in San Diego. We don’t get to see those four nearly often enough. But last week, that San Diego tribe came into town, and spent four days with us. And on one afternoon, all six of our grandkids spread out across our 3.5 acres for an exciting game of ‘Hide and Go Seek.’ I didn’t get into the game, personally of course. (I think I would have been way too easy to find, if you know what I mean. In Hide and Seek, you need to be really good at hiding, to make it more fun for those doing the seeking!)
But, I sat on my back deck and watched those grandkids I love so much having the time of their lives, running, sneaking, climbing trees, hiding in tiny dark places, hoping the seeker wouldn’t discover them. Something about the expressions on their faces told me this was really fun. In particular, I studied each individual grandkid. Their individualism, I think, became more apparent to me.
A great game of hide-and-seek needs a good number of players. But, it’s not a team sport. Hide-and-seek’s not like baseball, where every player has a specific position and responsibility. No. In hide-and-seek, it’s every man for himself. Each player is responsible for his or her own place of concealment. Trying to find the perfect hideout is a great part of the game. Well, at least it’s a great part of the game as long as there’s a ‘seeker’ in the game of hide-and-seek. As long as someone’s trying to find you, it’s fun to stay hidden.
As I watched my grandkids play, I noticed one specific episode when my grandson did such a great job of hiding that all the other kids, who had already been discovered in their hiding places stopped looking for him. They got tired of opening doors, or looking under porches, or behind boxes. After a while, the hide-and-seek game lost its luster to them, I guess you could say. And because my grandson had hidden himself so completely, the rest of the players in the game lost interest in looking for him and started a rousing game of corn hole. My grandson eventually came out of his hiding place. But he was disappointed.
He wasn’t disappointed that no one found him. He was disappointed that no one came looking for him. Part of the fun of the game is knowing that the other kids were looking for him.
You may not have thought about it lately, but God doesn’t play hide-and-seek. He wasn’t playing that childhood game with Adam and Eve that day when He came walking in the garden that day, looking for them. They tried to hide. But, of course, hiding from God in a game of hide and seek is a futile endeavor. No, the question that has to be answered in that regard is not who is hiding or where are they hidden.
Ps. 53 is an often quoted psalm because it begins, “The fool has said in his heart there is no God.” I wonder if that’s not like saying, “I looked around a bit, and since God didn’t jump out from behind some bush or tree, he must not be ‘findable.’ But that statement is a childish thing to say. God understands the rules of hide-and-seek very well. And he has a total understanding about the ways of man, as well. Listen to what God says about man’s understanding, and his ‘search’ for God. Ps. 53, he says, “God has looked down from heaven upon the sons of mankind
To see if there is anyone who [c]understands, Who seeks after God. Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt;”
Much of mankind, I think has decided to stop looking for God. Look around and you will see tragic people who see God as some myth who doesn’t exist. They are in hot pusuit of pleasure and fulfillment and take up some other game, like corn hole only more deadly serious.
Jer. 29:13 is God’s loving invitation:
“You will seek me, and you will find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”
And he never hides from us. He never stops inviting us. Never. Never. Never.