With all three of my children, I experienced nearly the same special moment playing hide-and-seek.
I would hide. They would seek.
And I could always win. Always.
There are a hundred places in even the smallest home where a toddler can’t imagine a human being daring to go. It’s easy to stay out of reach, out of sight, and to remain unheard.
But that’s not what we parents do, is it?
Instead, we hide somewhere just around the corner, somewhat obvious, so that these fledgling seekers will have at least some shot at discovering our whereabouts.
Besides, we don’t want them to get scared that they’ve lost us forever. And we don’t want to frustrate them. And… if we’re honest…
We love to be found by them!
We love the smile that breaks on their precious little faces when they discover us! It’s a look of love and affection that draws us into endless loops of hiding again and again.
Most of us imagine God to be a far-off being, bent upon our punishment and misery. Most of what we call “religion” is simply our attempt to find him, to please him, or to appease his wrath.
We can’t imagine that God would be delighted to seek us out and to delight in finding us.
But that’s exactly who he is. He’s the God who delights when you find him.
Here’s the thing…
You are seen. You’re not alone in the universe. WE are not alone in the universe.
You may not have any idea who God actually is, or what he is all about, and philosophers and religious leaders will debate all of the details of religion and ritual, but THIS I know…
You are seen. And known. And loved.
You’ve probably felt it before… that sense that though no one seems to be aware of all that is transpiring in your heart, One who is unseen is aware and actively cares for your pain, your confusion, your grief.
And he invites you to become aware of his presence. The Apostle Paul, as recorded by Dr. Luke in the Book of Acts, said…
Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him!
Acts 17:24-29, The Message
If you feel far from God today, know that he already knows right where you are. He’s found you. And he desires that you find him, too.
So how do you do that?
I’ve heard well-intentioned Christians say things like, “You don’t have to find God, he finds you.” And I completely understand the sentiment.
But what the Scripture presents is the story of God, just beyond the veil of what we are consciously aware of in our natural senses, enticing us and leading us to seek him out and to discover him. He wants us to “actually find him,” because “he’s not remote; he’s near.”
I believe firmly that God wants to be found by you. And he works providentially in that, when you start seeking, he starts revealing himself. When you want more light and more truth, he grants it.
God isn’t interested in remaining hidden from you forever. He made you and put you into a hospitable environment with plenty of time and space for living so that you can actually find him.
And all you have to do is start seeking him.