Hide and seek is such a great game. and playing with little kids is the ultimate fun. This was my kids’ favorite game when they were little, probably because our game of hide and seek was a little unconventional. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones who played this way: I would hide in the best spot I could come up with. My purpose was to be found, but I really wanted them to work for it. I wanted them to search almost to the point of giving up. The last place they’d ever look was my spot. They’d look everywhere, and all the while, I’d be making little noises. They’d get really close to me, but still not think to look in the place I was hiding. Then, they’d start to cry out their distress. Seems cruel maybe, but this was the moment of truth for both of us. Would they keep seeking or give up? Would I reveal myself to save them from despair? And then … purely delighted with the closeness, I would burst out of hiding and grab them both up and we would fall into a heap of giggles, followed by the inevitable tickle war. It was so much fun!
I remembered this this morning as I was contemplating what’s been going on between the Lord and I. Last Friday, we returned from Kids’ Camp, where both of my children dug deep into their hearts, made room for the Lord and invited Him in. Such a victory in our home. And since returning, I have noticed such a difference in both of them. I mean, it’s subtle things that maybe no one else would notice, but I notice as if their actions are screaming out, “I’ve been changed!” I saw it on their faces the moment it happened, the change in them, but now I have witnessed their actions being in step with the heart of Christ.
I know Satan well enough to expect a war just to ruin my joy in the victory, but I didn’t expect the numbness and deafness that ascended on me the moment I returned home. I’ve longed for deeper intimacy with the Lord, I’ve needed it since coming home. I’ve longed to hear His voice giving encouragement and direction as I stand at a pivotal place, but He has been very quite. I sense evidence of His nearness to me, but like my children hearing my little noises while I hid, His presence has evaded me thus far. I don’t just want a glimpse, I want the fullness of His presence. I want to be enraptured! I want to be caught up in His embrace and full of the joy of being found.
I’ve been pressing in these last couple days, and the scriptures have become more alive with each that passes. I’ve noticed Him in small things, but I want more. As I was praying this morning and trying again to reach Him, I remembered our awesome games of hide and seek and in them I see my relationship with the Lord. So many times in the Word, the Lord compels us to seek Him. I really love the way He expresses this desire in Jeremiah 29:13:
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
The Lord is not talking about an easy game of hide and seek, in which He picks the first spot you’ll look just to take it easy on you. He’s talking about a search that takes something of you. That requires you to break a sweat, shed a tear, almost give up because although you see evidence that He is near, or you hear a sound that signifies His presence, you cannot find Him. He picked a good place because He loves this game. You want to know His favorite part? When you begin to cry out and He can’t contain Himself any longer. He bursts forth and catches you and wraps His arms around you and fills you with an inexpressible relief and joy at being caught by Him. Of finding Him at last. The two of you, together again.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I’m still in the game, and still seeking you. I don’t know how near I am, but I know I’m close. Thank you for opening my eyes to the pursuit and the joy to be found as I press in to You. I look forward to that moment when You bust out and capture me. I’m giddy with anticipation. I love that You spend this time with me, desiring me to seek You. Our relationship is strengthened and deepened in these times. Though not always fun, I will admit that this time of seeking is so worth it! I love you!
In Jesus’ name I offer my praise,