Hide-n-seek is a game I haven't played in years. It's not like this is a hobby after you've made it through grade school. As far as I know, there aren't any hide-n-seek leagues sponsored by the city. You won't find this as an Olympic event, nor do I foresee it becoming popular with the X-games. Seeing as how I don't have any children right now, it's likely I won't be playing again for several years either. Now, I do have two adorable nephews that love to hang out and play games with me. But it seems they are more interested in technological advances like the Nintendo Wii. (And since you are now curious, yes, my 7 year old nephew can beat me at many games on the Wii.)
Growing up, hide-n-seek was a game my brother and I would often play. Of course, I was always so eager to be the one to hide (it was the far superior aspect of the game). Being the younger sibling, it was rare my older brother would allow me to hide first. But this time was different. This time he was kind enough to let me begin the game by hiding. It was only later I found out this was a ploy.
Before I get into the story, I need to set the scene. Josh, my brother, is five years my elder. Since we grew up in a house with two working parents, we were often relegated to spending quality (I use this term loosely) time with each other. I always had to tag along with my big brother, as is customary for any younger sibling. It usually wasn’t because I liked his friends or really even wanted to go with them. Rather, my motivation was to annoy and terrorize them. You may find it difficult to believe, but I used to be a bit of a punk (not so much anymore, right?). Let me give you an example. As you might have guessed, we were two typical boys growing up. As typical boys, we were prone to wrestle and fight. However, when he wound up getting the best of me, or I realized I was incapable of winning, I would become vicious. Usually I would choke him or give him a cheap shot to the groin. At this point, I would release a deafening scream which always resulted in my mother coming to my rescue, inevitably finding Josh on my chest, beating the snot out of me. After the altercation was broken up, it never failed he would get a lecture about being older and more mature. This, I always found quite amusing; which was obvious from the smirk on my face when my mother's back was turned.
Now, back to this game of hide-n-seek. On this particular day, I found the perfect hiding spot, nestled beneath a pile of blankets between the couch and the wall. It seemed like I was hiding for eternity. But I was committed to the win and would not give up. Minutes of hiding turned into hours and eventually I dozed off. Only after my parents came home and found me (quite easily may I add), did I wake.
This game of hide-n-seek is nothing new. The very first account of hide-n-seek is recorded in Genesis. We find an epic game in which Adam and Eve have set themselves against God. The reason I know this is evident by the fact that the Bible plainly tells us, "they hid from the Lord God among the trees." Now, most of us read this and probably think hiding from God is such a ridiculous notion. But, if we are willing to admit it, we play the same game today. It seems to me, this is evidenced most in our initial reaction when we screw up. We break a few of the commandments; we ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit; we take off in the opposite direction God is leading us. And what do we do? We, just like Adam and Eve, hide in shame and fear. And just like the game between my brother and I, we will not give up. All because we have convinced ourselves the most difficult times to turn to God and embrace Him occur right after our rebellion. Often, we find ourselves running from Him, our hearts full of fear. We avoid our quiet times in prayer. We allow our Bible to sit on our night stand and collect dust. Convinced that God doesn’t want to face us at that point. All because the infraction is so fresh.
And this is not the reaction God is looking for!
You see, in the Genesis account, God was still looking and calling out for them. He still sought Adam and Eve, even though they had been tainted with sin. Even though they wanted nothing to do with God at that point. And in light of Scripture, I am reminded that when I sin against God, there is no need to hide in fear. Because of the cross of Jesus Christ that fully paid for the punishment of my sin, I may approach His throne of grace with boldness (Hebrews 4:16). I may turn to God in my time of brokenness, trusting that His grace is sufficient (Psalm 51:16-17). Even if there is discipline, it should (this being the key) bring me joy since I know that God is treating me as one of his dearly loved children (Hebrews 12:7).
Therefore, even though we may be tempted to run from God when we sin against Him, we must realize that God’s desire is for us to draw close to Him (James 4:8). Let us not be afraid to turn to God in this, our greatest hour of need. Remember that His sacrifice paid for our sins, and He offers us reconciliation and freedom--from whatever we have done and from fear.