Not too long ago David and I babysat for some friends who went on a much needed date. Within the span of a month this sweet couple had a newborn baby AND adopted a 7 year old from Congo. Needless to say, they were busy and I think it had been months since the two of them had actually been out alone. So, David and I headed over to their house and sent them on their way. We decided to take our first-born baby and her husband along with us. (Did I just say ‘our first-born baby and her husband?!!) Yikes! Say it ain’t so!
As soon as we got there Ben, our daughter’s husband, took the baby, who is extremely attached to her mama, and began to feed her a bottle. The baby didn’t fuss or cry; the baby was totally content. Jessica looked at me with great surprise. My mama instincts told me it was not just surprise that I was looking at but rather, great PLEASING surprise! She was impressed. Uh Oh! The mental pictures began to fly through my mind so fast I about fainted. This frame of thoughts ended with a blaring picture screaming, “You’re gonna be a grandma one day!” God help me, I need MY mama!
Well anyway, while Ben took care of the baby Jessica and I decided to play hide and seek with Julie, the 7 year old. Two of us would count while the other one hid. (I am not sure what David was doing.) It was obvious that Julie had played this before, probably with her daddy, because she had some pretty good hiding spots. She loved the game and especially loved being found. She would start giggling when we would get close to her hiding spot and inevitably end up giving herself away.
When it came time for me to hide, I made sure it would be nearly impossible to find me. I could hear Julie and Jessica counting and then the ole’ “ready or not here I come.” They began their search. They looked and looked but could not find me. They even opened the door and looked in the closet where I was hiding. I was tickled that they didn’t discover me! But then I began to tire of hiding in that dark, small and cramped closet. I began wishing they would find me. I felt conflicted over this. I wanted them to find me but at the same time, I liked that they couldn’t find me. I waited and waited. I thought about coming out and pronouncing with glee that I had won because they couldn’t find me. But somehow that didn’t seem right. I wanted to be found. I then had the thought, “if they got David to help them they could probably find me.” Wouldn’t you know it? That is exactly what they did. When I realized they had employed the big guy to help look for me, a sudden panic set in. I knew he would know where I was because he knows me. I knew I was about to be found. Sure enough, David walked right to the place where I was hiding, opened the door, looked further into the closet, and discovered me. I promise he did not see me hide. We all laughed and giggled and I think Julie decided she preferred doing the hiding.
Afterwards I thought, “This is such a picture of how we are with God.” We hide from Him, enjoying it at first because we think we are getting away with something. But then it begins to get unbearable in that dark and secret place away from Him. We want to be discovered. But there is conflict. We somehow like hiding and we are not totally sure we want to be found. And yet our soul cries out. We think about coming out and just saying, “I give up. Here I am!” But pride sets in and we think and decide we will stay right where we are a little longer. We must not give in. Or perhaps fear sets in and we wonder what will happen if we come out of hiding. Will we be rejected? Will we be humiliated? We somehow think that coming out of hiding is admitting failure or losing. But is it really winning staying in that small, dark, secret place where no one knows where we are?
There is nothing that quite compares to the relief of being found. I think in all of us there is a deep desire to be found and known. Some of you reading this want to be found! You want to be known, truly known by someone. When the Big Guy starts getting close it stirs up a little panic and we are tempted to resist or move further away and deeper in. But stop. Stay put. Don’t resist. Give in. I promise relief is coming. You aren’t being found by just anyone. You are being found by the One who knows you, really knows you. He knows exactly and precisely where you are hiding and He is still coming for you!
A great man once said that he counted all the things he had lost as mere rubbish compared to gaining Christ and being found in Him. My prayer for you today is that you will be found by Him and in Him. This is freedom! This is true life! This is winning! I pray “that you may have the power to understand...how wide, how long, how high and how deep God’s love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:18-19, New Living Translation)