Hide and Seek

Once upon a time, young Bobby and his dad were playing catch in the backyard when Bobby grew tired of the game.

 

“Hey Daddy,” he said, “I don’t want to play this game anymore.”

 

“Okay,” replied his father, “Do you want to play a different game?”

 

“Yeah! I want to play hide-and-seek!” said Bobby.

 

“Okay, how do you play?” 

 

“Well, I close my eyes and count to thirty while you go hide. Then, I try to find you,” explained Bobby.

 

So Bobby closed his eyes and counted to thirty. Then, he yelled, “Ready or not, here I come!” and he began looking all over the backyard for his father. 

 

His father wasn’t behind the tree or the bushes. He wasn’t inside the shed where he kept the mower, and he certainly hadn’t climbed up into the big oak tree in the backyard.

 

So, Bobby looked in the garage. His Daddy wasn’t inside the cars or under the cars, or anywhere in the garage. 

 

Now, Bobby thought that meant Daddy must have surely hidden in the front yard, probably behind that big bush next to the front door. 

 

But Bobby’s Daddy wasn’t there. He wasn’t anywhere in the front yard –or in the side yard either. 

 

Bobby’s eyes got moist and he wondered where his Daddy could be. He looked in the garage and the backyard again, but his Daddy wasn’t there. 

 

He began to cry.

 

And then Bobby began to wonder if his Daddy had gone across the street to the neighbors. He knew he wasn’t supposed to cross the street without an adult, but his Daddy was missing and this was serious.

 

Just then, he heard a voice. “Bobby, come in the house.” And he found his older brother was standing next to him, gently smiling.

 

“But, Daddy is missing!”

 

“Come in the house with me, Bobby. It’ll be okay.”

 

Sobbing, he went into the house and there was his Daddy sitting in his big chair just like he always was. He ran up to him and demanded, “Daddy! Why are you sitting in your chair here in the house when you said you would play Hide and Seek with me? That’s NOT how it works! You’re supposed to be hiding OUTSIDE where I can find you!”

 

And, in a fit of righteous five year-old anger, Bobby stamped his little foot at his Daddy.

 

His Daddy took him gently in his arms and said, “Son, all the time you were looking for me, I was watching from inside the house making sure you were safe.  When you were going to cross the street like you know you shouldn’t, I sent your brother to bring you to me. And all the time, I was right where I knew you would find me, where I always am, because I wanted you to know you will always be able to find me in this place where you are safe and we call home. I will always watch over you and protect you, Bobby, and I will never hide myself in a place where you cannot find me or you cannot go.” 

—–o—–

One of the things that is most difficult for people who don’t believe in God to understand is why God plays Hide and Seek with them. Why would God hide from us? If he really is God, why doesn’t he reveal Himself to us?  

 

But God does not hide. He is always right where He said He would be, in a place where He knows anyone can find Him if they will just give up looking in all the wrong places. God is always where He can be found if we will just come home. We have trouble finding Him because we try to make up the rules that we think God should follow when He has promised us before the game ever started that He will never abandon us or forsake us. 

 

He is as close as your Bible, your folded hands, your computer, your phone, or your radio dial. 

 

And he is waiting with open arms.

 

Today’s Praise

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

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