Hide and Seek
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 77:1-15 | 2 Chronicles 4:1 – 6:11 | Romans 7:1-13 | Proverbs 19:22-23
Today’s Scripture Focus: Psalm 77
“I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out tiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remember you, O God, and I groaned; I mused and my spirit grew faint.” (Psalm 77:1, 2 NIV)
Hide and seek. We all loved to play it as children. We would play it for hours on end, day after day. We especially liked to play it with Dad. He was so much better at hiding than we were. He made it a challenge. As children, we found delight in the seeking process and we were positively ecstatic with joy when we finally found him. Sometimes God plays hide and seek.
The Psalmist, like many of us, has forgotten the joy of “hide and seek.” He’s forgotten the child-like giggles and laughter when we ran through the house looking under everything, opening every door, checking every closet, every nook and cranny (even small kitchen appliances where I guarantee dad would never fit). He’s forgotten the delight of seeking the one who loves us enough to make it a challenge. So have most of us. It was a fun game for kids, but we are ready to move on.
We groan, we can’t sleep and even singing songs in the night doesn’t seem to help (3-6). We are filled with questions and the answers seem as elusive as the presence of God (7-9). We feel abandoned. But God still delights in our seeking. “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). His ways are beyond our ways and we may not understand all that God is doing in the times when he seems to be hiding. But know that the seeking process is not without purpose and rightly understood may even become a source of delight. Yet his ultimate goal in all of this “hide and seek,” is the mutual joy we have when the seeking process finally leads to “finding.”
We all have times when we wonder if God is hiding. We have times when we don’t feel the sense of his presence. But know that he is there, hoping that you will remember the childhood delight of seeking him diligently—hoping that you will not give up the search before the laughter and joy of “finding.”
This is not to criticize the Psalmist, he is groping in the dark for light and he is making some good choices: he opens his heart to God in honesty and pours out his concerns, he remembers the ways God has been faithful, he tries to make sense of things in light of what he knows about God. He remembers that God was there when they came up against the Red Sea, delivering them from their troubles though “his footprints were not seen” (19). God seemed to be hiding then too, but he hadn’t forgotten them.
Is God playing “hide and seek” with you? Then perhaps this is a time to become child-like again; a time to enjoy the seeking again–to rediscover the joy of hide and seek.