“9,10, Ready or not, here I come!!”
The person shouting at the top of her voice was my little 4 year old granddaughter and we were playing hide and seek… again!
On this occasion I’d hidden under the duvet – not obviously visible but not really hard to find – I’ve learnt from experience that my ability to hide far surpasses her ability to seek!
The tradition in our game is for the seeker to call out where they are looking – adds to the tension. “Is Grandpa in the bathroom? No! Is Grandpa under the bed? No!”
I could hardly contain my longing for her to have the thrill of finding me and it was at that moment that I realised that I wasn’t hiding FROM her – I was hiding FOR her!! I wanted to be found! I’d experienced her joy at discovering me so many times that I was totally committed to her winning this game of hide and seek! So committed in fact that when she seemed to be struggling I made a couple of helpful noises to keep her motivated and help her in her quest.
As I lay there under the duvet I realised that this is so similar to the way God the Father is with us, his children. So often we think God is trying to be secretive with us – wanting us to feel He is somehow hard to get to know – complex and inaccessible – as though He’s got no intention of letting us win the hide and seek game!
But this is so far from the truth – the Father is desperate to be found but he also longs for us to have the thrill and joy of discovering Him.
The Father is not hiding FROM us – He’s hiding FOR us!
Proverbs 25:2 says ‘It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them’. It is part of our nature, it is humanity at it’s greatest, when we are discovering new understanding about God, his nature and the world he has made. All those scientific discoveries that are constantly being made? God concealed them for us to discover! Of course, he loves to partner with us as we discover these truths but part of the Genesis mandate to cultivate (culture) the earth, included the calling to discover – to develop – to improve – to solve.
There are many great prayers in the bible but the one I pray most for myself and others is in Ephesians 1:16-20. In verse 17 Paul prays that they might have ‘spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God’. God wants to be found – but he also knows that the seeking process is beneficial for us – in fact the more challenging the seeking, the greater the joy of discovery, and the more we cherish the rich revelation we find. A little like the parable in Mat 13 of the trader who finds a great pearl – he was looking long and hard and the discovery meant he was willing to sacrifice everything else in his life to have that rare pearl.
Next time you find yourself with something you don’t understand why not take it to God and commit to seeking with his anointing of wisdom and insight until you get the answer… a bit like saying to God – ‘Ready or not, here I come!’