Have you ever played hide and seek with a toddler? Hide and seek is to a two year old what peek-a-boo is to an infant: a game full of inexpressible joy and surprise. As an adult, the game is rewarding simply because playing with a small child generates loads of grins and giggles.
It’s not exactly a game of strategy when playing hide and seek with a little one. Honestly, the first dilemma is that a toddler has not yet learned the art of being quiet. They often give themselves away with scuffling, sniffles, giggles, or whispers. Sometimes they even announce their location, squealing “Here I am!” The game is often a simple one because toddlers tend to pick the same hiding spot over and over again. If it worked the first time, then surely it will work again, right? No, for small children, the game is not about logic or strategy: it’s an enjoyable game where they can be found by a caregiver who loves them!
From a parent’s perspective, there is a little more strategy involved. When playing with a toddler, an important tactic is to hide in a painfully obvious place. It is important to make just a little noise or leave a part of your body partially exposed to make it easier for the child to find you. After all, the point is not to be standing in plain sight, nor is it to be completely hidden. The object of the game is to be found! It’s the moment of being discovered that brings shouts of joy, hugs, and contagious giggles.
Have you ever wondered if maybe God interacts with us in a similar way? I once heard my college pastor preach a sermon about this very idea. Granted, many years have elapsed, and I don’t remember his exact words. Still, the concept has remained in my mind over the years. God delights in hiding and letting us seek Him. He never hides in inaccessible places, because He promises to never leave us. He delights to leave a toe sticking out under a door, so to speak, so that we can more easily find Him.
For instance, have you ever gone through a season where you felt you met the Lord in a very real and tangible way? Maybe His Word came alive to you. Maybe He gave you comfort at a time you needed it. Maybe He fulfilled a promise or provided for you in an unexpected and aptly-timed manner. Maybe you felt an intimacy with your Savior that you had been missing previously. Aren’t those moments priceless? If only we could sustain those spiritual mountaintop experiences!
Just like a child who has discovered his father hiding behind the couch, we are delighted and astounded to find our Father hiding in plain sight! Because we are very often like toddlers ourselves, we may look in the same place over and over again. If we found Him there once, we might find Him there again! Both thankfully, and frustratingly, our God is not that predictable. I believe He enjoys surprising us, and our experiences with Him cannot be duplicated. He longs for us to seek Him and promises that if we earnestly seek Him that we will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). He may choose a new hiding place, but we will be just as delighted each time we discover a new aspect of His character. In this way, we continue to be enchanted and delighted by our ever-loving and ever-mysterious Heavenly Father.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
Pause: Find a quiet and comfortable place to read Psalm 105. In what ways did the Lord “show” Himself to the Israelites? If you have the time, make a list.
Renew: How has the Lord revealed Himself to you? Can you make a list from your own life, just as David could list the ways that the Lord showed up for the Israelites in Psalm 105?
Next: I just love Lauren Daigle’s song, Salt and Light. There’s a line in the song that says, “Let my eyes see your Kingdom shine all around.” In the same way, keep your eyes open to see where the Lord and His Kingdom are at work around you this week.
May you seek the Lord and discover new aspects of His majesty.
Pause, Renew, Next!