Who among us hasn't played Hide and Seek at some point? This classic childhood game is a mainstay transcending continents and generations. A simple concept: one or more kiddos run and hide while whoever is "It" hides his/her eyes. Then after the count is up, the It person seeks the hiders. Of course, the hiders are hoping to find the best hiding places, to be the last ones found while the seeker hopes to discover all secret hideouts quickly.
But I wonder, did you ever hide so well that the seeker never found you? Or maybe they got called home for supper before finding you, leaving you hunched in some cramped space until you finally came out, feeling rather bewildered by everyone's absence. What were you thinking in that span between tucking into your hiding place until you realized the game was over?
At first, perhaps you felt proud. "What a great spot I've found -- they'll never think to look for me here!"
Then, as time progressed, "Wow! I really DID find a great place! I can't believe it's taking so long! I bet I'll win!"
But as the cramped muscles begin to ache, perhaps the thinking turns a bit. "It's pretty quiet. I wonder if they are still looking for me? I wonder if they are still out there? What if they forgot about me?" These thoughts suddenly change the fun and thrill of hiding to loneliness and isolation.
You see, hiding is only fun when you're playing a child's game and when you know the hiding will end with being sought and found.
Hiding, just for the sake of hiding, is lonely and isolating and painful.
We have an assurance though. We can never hide from God so well that we cannot be found by Him. He sees. He knows. Attempting to hide from Him is pointless on the most basic level. No hiding place is good enough to stump God. So while that draws us to a realization that we can't hide our sinful acts from His eyes, it also reminds us that He does not want us to be lonely or isolated from Him.
In fact, He invites us to seek Him:
When we cease trying to hide sin in dark corners of our hearts, and instead turn our whole hearts to seeking Him, He promises us that we will find Him.
What a blessing! No games, no hiding. Simply openly embracing God as our Lord, our Father.
The game is over -- He calls us home for dinner.