I have a disturbing confession. One that I’m positive someone else can relate to but whether or not you’ll admit it is a different story. I find pleasure in twisting the childhood game of Hide and Seek to Hide and Scare. There, I said it. You see, I enjoy the evil of hiding behind cracked doors and dark shower curtains and jumping out to scare my family rather than the normal round of giggles and chase of the Hide and Seek we all grew to know and love. Give me a break you fantastic parents you. Maybe this is why my kids are so anxious? Oh man. What’s even worse? If it’s a good day and I’m feeling risky, I’ll pop out and scare my Combat Veteran husband who could easily kill me with one finger or put me in a Marine Corps vice grip that would take me out. I’m just saying.
Listen, go ahead, take a moment and feel good about yourselves as parents now and then let’s meet back here to forget my issues and move on.
You know, I may be a little crazy but don’t we often think that our Heavenly Father does the same thing? He feels distant and we can’t see or feel Him so we just keep looking over our shoulders waiting for Him to jump out with some scary circumstance that’s suppose to test our faith? That any minute there’s going to be punishment for our failure or that somehow we don’t measure up to the church’s standards of Christianity and it’s time for a scare. My oh my how we have it twisted. Unfortunately I do believe that there are many of us who walk around feeling distant from our Daddy above and constantly hover in fear at what’s going to come crashing down next. What to do about this? What to do about everything we have twisted? Scripture. Yes, the truth.
If we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, eve there your hand shall lead me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is light with you.” Psalm 139:7-12
Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:23-24
For my eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from my face nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. Jeremiah 16:17
So first things first. God is never distant from us. Ever. He will never forsake us, He will never not help us, He will never not hear our cries for help. If He feels that distant to us, it’s time for a heart check. One of repentance and to tell our feelings and emotions whose boss.
In order to rid ourselves of the habit of believing how we feel over the truth of God’s word, there are choices to be made. We have to choose repentance over sin. We have to choose scripture over fear. We have to choose faith over doubt. We have to choose rest over turmoil. We have to choose joy over complaining. We have to choose prayer over laziness. We have to choose time with Him over selfishness.
Listen, I know it’s hard. It’s so much easier to pitch a fit about how uncomfortable and painful or fearful life is or how lonely we feel but it’s in those words that Jesus can feel unreachable. It’s in that choice that the Holy Spirit seems quite. It’s in that state of mind that the lies become the truth. We have to make the right choice. We have to believe the God-breathed words that we have been given.
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever feel that God is nowhere to be found. I mean come on, Job and David even cried out in their longing to know where he was. But what I am saying is that after you cry out in your fear or pain or loneliness, move on and believe the truth. You can’t get stuck looking for God when he’s already been found. Let’s look at how Job handled it.
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him; on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold. Job 23:8-10
We have to remember that a divine plan for our lives far outweighs any fear of the unknown and that anytime we feel that God is hiding, it’s time for a heart check.
Are you spending time with Jesus or are you zoning out in addiction or distraction?
Is there a sin that you’d rather try to hide over repentance and grace?
Are you long overdue for stillness and quietness? Is your life too full of chaos and noise?
Are you like me and withdraw from community in times of despair? Maybe you need to ask for prayer or reach out for connection?
Have you stopped praying?
You see, there’s plenty to do if Hide and Scare seems to be on God’s agenda in your life. It’s time that we stop allowing ourselves and this world to drown out the truth of God’s word and start applying it to our lives. There’s no need to cower in fear of what’s coming next because God already knows. Believe it my friends. It’s the right choice.
And then, pray for my sinful choice of hiding and scaring the ones I love the most.