Remember playing hide ‘n seek when you were little? It was always a thrill to have the best hiding spot… heart pounding as you sat as still as you could… secretly chuckling to yourself when the seeker kept walking by, looking everywhere but where you were. Unseen and unheard. “Where IS she?” The feeling of being the last one still being searched for.
I still hide.
But it’s not a simple children’s game anymore.
I hide because I’m afraid that God won’t like me anymore if He sees what I’m really like.
I hide because it seems too overwhelming and hard to face reality.
I hide because it feels safer in the closet than it does in the bright light of day.
I hide because it hurts. And avoiding the hurts seems easier.
I hide because I always fail. Over and over.
I run far away from the Seeker. I hide away my insecurities and failings, crawling farther back into the closet. No one will ever find me here. I’m well hidden. But my pain is still there. My fears and insecurities are still staring me in the face. I cannot hide. No matter how hard I try.
I cannot hide forever – from myself, or from God.
“O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in — behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139: 1-16)
These verses can be either terrifying or comforting, depending on your view of God. If you see Him as this big mean God who is out to get you whenever you mess up, it could be a very terrifying thought that He knows all this. Everywhere you go, there He is. You can’t get away. But if you believe that He is a good, redeeming God, and this truth resonates in your heart, this is so comforting. He knows your every thought. He lays His hand upon you, to guide and hold you fast. Even before you were made, God saw your unformed body. He created your inmost being and ordained every single day of your life, before you were even born.
So why hide? It doesn’t work anyway. Why hide your fears? He knows what they are and can bring peace to your heart. Why run away when you feel like a failure? Jesus forgives us and can redeem our messed up lives! Why live in the darkness of the closet? We were created to live fully, in the brilliance of His glorious light. Why hide your tears and your pain from Jesus? He is there to walk with you in the midst of it. Why hide?
The Seeker is good. He is pursuing you because He desires to find you and make you His own. He chooses you!! He wants to help you face your hurts and realities and your questions. He is trustworthy and merciful and just!
Mr. Mann shared an illustration of this in one of my Monday classes. He held up a coffee cup, clutching it tightly. “Pretend that this coffee cup represents your iniquities, or the things you mess up on and do wrong. Try as you might, you cannot pry your fingers loose. You can’t.” He pulls a chair out. “Now pretend Jesus is sitting in this chair. You’ve tried and tried to get your fingers pried loose, but you can’t. So when you stand before Him, what do you do? Instead of holding your coffee cup out before Him and allowing Him to free you of it… you hide it.” He slowly turned until his back was facing the chair, hands still tightly curled around the cup. “Now, instead of being face to face with Jesus, you are only able to talk over your shoulder to Him.”
Isn’t that powerful? It was so startling to see it so clearly, right in front of my eyes. Hiding my “cup” from Jesus suddenly seemed so pointless and silly. Why not just hand it over to Him, instead of trying so hard on my own? Why hide it from Him?
Don’t hide. There is so much glorious freedom to be found! Don’t waste your life in the closet.