3 Scenes Recreated (because my memory isn’t THAT good): 1) “15, 14, 13…” My 5-year-old self hears the countdown as I run to find a hiding spot. Will I fit in the drier? I climb in. “9, 8, 7…” I snuffle a giggle as I make sure I am hidden. “4, 3, 2, 1…here I come!” I wiggle in suspense. But the best part about hide-and-seek? Being found! “I found you!” cries my dad, who had followed giggles as he swings open the door to the drier to expose me. I squeal with laughter. 2) Years later, we’re playing cat-and-mouse. The mouse is the funnest part to be in the game. You hide, and then when they see you, you run and hide again. We are on a ranger and a 4-wheeler. Dad is behind the wheel of the ranger and Mom the 4-wheeler. I’m riding shotgun with Dad. We hide and shut off the engine. We hear the 4-wheeler nearing and we move hiding spots. When Mom finally does catch up to us, there is a mad dash filled with laughter from both Tom and Jerry. She flashes her headlights at us to indicate she’d got us, and we stopped and counted as she hid. 3) Again, later, the people I’m hanging out with as a college student think it would be fun to play sardines. It’s my turn to hide. I can’t really get around quickly, so I find an empty room and sit in the corner. They’ll totally find me right away. Yep, they did. As the first few people shuffle in and huddle in the corner next to me, we exchange smiles.
2 Similar Scenes Recreated: 1) I have just broken a toy, and my five-year-old self is ashamed. I go and hide in my room, shutting the door. In my room, I hide under the covers. I hear the door open and I don’t move. If I can’t see them, they can’t see me. 2) Years later, I break a cupboard door off of its hinges. I can’t believe what I’ve just done, and I am hysterical. I retreat to my room and lock the door, because nobody is getting in! I hide and cry to myself. –> Basically, when given the option of fight or flight, I chose flight. Except when I can’t get away fast enough and know it. Then I just hide and wait for “danger” to pass.
All throughout the Bible, God is drawing nearer to his people. But they keep turning away! I was reading Ezekiel 9 today. In verse 9, God says to Ezekiel, “The people say, ‘The Lord has forsaken the land; the Lord does not see.’” Obviously, the Lord sees them. Just because they cannot see him from under a blanket does not mean that he does not see them as he stands in the room. Our Heavenly Father is completely relational and has been from the beginning. He desires to get closer to his children, but when there is a blanket or a piece of wood in the way, he can’t. At the beginning, he breathed life into mankind. Satan’s goal is to destroy this relationship we have with God. What is this blanket that stands in the way? Sin. After Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of good and evil, they didn’t want to be found by God for the first time. They hid. God has never hid from mankind, but mankind hid from him! He keeps walking toward us, but he’ll only come closer if we respond. God keeps drawing toward mankind. The Bible is full of steps he takes to get closer to his children, with the ultimate step of sending his son. Will you respond?
I make so many mistakes in life. I am human; I am part of this mankind that keeps hiding from God. Sometimes, I try to hide, as Jonah thought he was doing. I depend on myself and on other things that aren’t my Heavenly Father. But all the time, he takes steps closer. He teaches me lessons; he leads me in the right direction. Sometimes, I pull away from his guidance and look behind, as Lot’s wife did as they ran from Sodom and Gomorrah. Sometimes, I stumble, and I fall. But other times, I respond. I take a step back and direct my eyes on God. I cast away idols and take a step of faith, not able to see him, but trusting the Lord just the same. He’s there and working beyond what I even know or understand!
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Post inspired by and taken from the sermon at The Ransom Church in Sioux Falls on January 20, 2013. Credit to Phill Tague