Seems we've got some hidin' going on around the Noel household. The other night, during her bath time, my youngest who was told not to stand up in the tub, closed the shower doors, and told her daddy, "My close da doe. Dat's why I ken see you!" (Need a translation? "But I closed the door. That's why I can't see you!) Trying to convince her that we could see her through the clear shower doors was futile. She was quite certain that she was hiding.
And what did I find behind the couch this afternoon but some empty Reese wrappers stashed. I thought about it. Could it have been my son who comes down here every morning to read because he wakes up early? I remembered back to the little padding feet sound that I'd heard just this morning. Yep, it could be him. So, I called him downstairs and he 'fessed up to it. He said, "Remember how my tummy hurt this morning, mommy? That's why." Yeah, 10 Reese wrappers and a few mini Toblerones to boot would explain it!
What strikes me about both of these incidents is how my children thought they were hiding. The baby thought that because the doors were closed that we couldn't see her and didn't know what she was up to. In fact, she kept insisiting that we couldn't see her, when clearly, we could! And my son, did he really think that I wouldn't find the stashed candy trash behind the couch?! I mean, sometimes my housekeeping can leave a little to be desired, but clearly, trash doesn't usually go unnoticed!
And then I thought about myself. And I thought about all the times that I hide, thinking God doesn't see me slink off to one of my idols --those things that lie to me about their instant relief but are full of false advertising. It took me back to a story from this wonderful Bible (The Jesus Storybook Bible) that we're using in our house for morning devotions right now. I can't speak highly enough of this Bible, but I'll post on that another time. But one of the first stories in that Bible (of course) is about Adam and Eve and about the hiding that they did after sinning with the fruit. Sally Lloyd-Jones, author of the Jesus Storybook Bible, paraphrased it this way, "You see, sin had come into God's perfect world. And it would never leave. God's children would ways be running away from him and hiding in the dark. Their hearts would break now and would never work properly again." Well, the whole point of this particular Bible is showing children that Jesus and the gospel are critical to every story in the Bible, so of course, we know that because of Jesus, the Grand Hero of All Stories, our hearts can one day work properly again.
But, what about now? Why do I think I can hide from my Father? Clearly Psalm 139 tells us that from before conception we were seen by him. And that we can't go anywhere to hide from him. "Where can I go from you Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me." Why do I believe the lie that I can hide? Why would I want to?
There's another lie that's been around since that first sin. And it's this. "God doesn't love you. He can't. And if he knew, really knew, the depth of your sin he would never love you." So, we hide. We hide, believing that somehow God can't see us. And then we keep telling ourselves that if He could, that He wouldn't love us anyway, so what's the difference? It's a horrible catch 22, isn't it?
Well, recently we got the the Lord's Prayer in our little Jesus Storybook Bible and here's the difference...(again, quoting Sally Lloyd-Jones), "You see, Jesus was showing people that God would always love them -- with a Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love. So they didn't need to hide anymore, or be afraid, or ashamed. They could stop running away from God. And they could run to him instead. As a little child runs into her daddy's arms."
Yes! We can stop believing the lie that we can hide. We are free to stop believing the lie that God won't love us. He does! Like a Father loves his little child. I think back to when my son was smaller, and he was just learning how to play hide and seek. He would hide, but he could never wait to be found. As soon as someone would start looking for him, he would run out, delightedly laughing, and run into the person and hug them. Not hard to find a guy like that! And I think that's a picture of how we should be. Running to and not from. Not trying to hide, but longing to be found.
So, what about you? Are you running from your Father or running toward Him?