When I was a kid, one of my favorite pastimes was playing hide-and-seek. On hot, Midwest summer nights, the kids in our neighborhood all got together for that game that was tremendous fun. 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. Trying to find the perfect hideout is the main object of the game. And I was really good at hiding.
Once in a while, I would such a great job of finding the perfect hiding place, 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. Instead of continuing to try to find me, the rest of the players in the game would stop looking for me and start a rousing game of tag, or kick the can. Eventually, I’d come walking out into the open, disappointed.
I wasn’t disappointed that no one found me. I was disappointed that no one came looking for me. Part of the fun of the game was knowing that the other kids were looking for me.
You may not have thought about it lately, but God doesn’t play hide-and-seek. He wasn’t playing a game with Adam and Eve that day when He came walking in the garden, asking about 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 a bit 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 of the ways of man, as well. Ps. 53 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 they don’t need to find God. Look around and you will see tragic people who see God as some myth who doesn’t exist. They are in hot pursuit of pleasure and fulfillment and take up some other game, like tag or kick-the-can, 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.” God never hides from us. He never stops inviting us to come and find Him. Never. Never. “You will seek me, and you will find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”