Hide and seek used to be a favorite game at our house.
I remember when the youngest was just a toddler; he would always hide with me because we generally played the game at night. He wanted to play, but he was too afraid in the dark to hide alone. So I would have to find a spot big enough for the two of us. Sometimes I could convince him to hide with his sister.
Then my favorite way to play hide and seek was by frequently changing my hiding place. I don’t like to be found. I would sneak from room to room as the kids searched in earnest for me, and then laugh as their frustration grew the longer they’d go without finding me. When I was certain they were headed in the wrong direction, I would call out to them. They would come running, convinced they would find me, but I’d have already moved my hiding place. So sneaky!
I think many people believe that’s how God is.
Just when they think they’ve found Him, poof! He’s changed His hiding place, and they are forced to keep the search going. But that’s not the way He operates. When we play hide and seek with God we are the only ones in the game. Nowhere in the Bible have I found it to say that God was hard to find. Actually it says, “Seek me and you shall find me.” To me, that means God doesn’t like playing hide and seek with us.
When tough decisions come our way, we often turn and seek God for the answers. It certainly sounds great to say we are seeking God. But how many times do we secretly think when someone says they are seeking HIm, “Lots of luck with that!”? Many of us wish He would just physically point us in the right direction, and give a gentle push, or send us an email or text with His plan spelled out. Unfortunately, the burden for discovering God’s will for our lives is still on us. Sometimes the mistake we make is in the preparation. We fail to prepare properly.
We are like sheep, and He is our Shepherd.
This is not news to those who have read even part of the New Testament. Jesus used sheep metaphors all the time. A Shepherd has a relationship with his flock that builds over time. It involves shared experience and trust. In the sheep metaphor, the Shepherd speaks, and the sheep recognize His voice. This relationship is no game. Many times the very lives of the sheep depend on the strength of that relationship. If we want to hear what God is saying to us, we like sheep, have to prepare ourselves to hear Him, and we accomplish this by strengthening that relationship, spending time learning what the Bible teaches us about Him, and then following when He leads us.
While I love to play hide and seek, I am so happy we don’t have to play it to find God.
The Bible says that God does not change His position. He is a constant. He’s always right there when I look for Him. He doesn’t call out to me, and then hide from me somewhere else. He’s a lousy hide and seek player, and I mean that in the best possible way. Yet a relationship with God is like any other, in that it is a two way street. If we are going to call out to Him, we have to be willing to listen when the answer comes. And then, if we are very smart sheep, we will follow His voice where it leads us. Follow the Leader, now that’s a game I think God loves to play!