The grands were racing around our house, playing hide and seek. We limited them to the downstairs–I’d just cleaned the upstairs. The idea of letting chaos claim the whole house wasn’t what I would choose.
They hid in the pantry, behind chairs, in John’s office, and under benches. Cal, frustrated with all the good hiding places taken, found a stool and tried to become invisible to those around him.
“I see you, Cal,” Mason quipped. “You’re not all gone.”
With his legs sticking out from under the stool, he was indeed not all gone.
“You can’t see me, Mason,” he yelled from behind his stool.
“I see you, Cal. You stick out.”
As adults, this is the worst game most people could imagine. Where children enjoy hiding and being mysteriously invisible, our desires run more to the need to be seen rather than unseen. Occasionally hiding becomes a self-protective routine because of personal embarrassment or pain inflicted by someone close to us. When we’ve been made to feel foolish or don’t feel like we fit in, hiding becomes a means of self-preservation.
What we want to be certain of is how people see us. Is it as we long to be perceived? Being the right person, doing the right things? We work hard at managing our images so that we may be known as we choose, leaving nothing to chance.
What often is harder to understand is how God sees us. There are those who discount His presence and disregard His involvement in our lives, but denying Him doesn’t make Him go away. That’s a good thing, for when life is hard and our brokenness feels overwhelming, we long to know that Someone greater than us knows us, is with us, loves us.
In the book of Genesis, Hagar was chosen by Sarah to bear Abraham a child. Sarah was impatient with God’s timetable–He’d promised a son to them, and years had passed with no offspring. Someone born in her house would be part of their family, so Hagar became the chosen one to have Abraham’s baby. When she became pregnant, it angered Sarah, and she wanted Hagar gone. Hagar ran away.
God spoke to her as she was hiding, telling her she would have a son. She saw His care for her, that He saw her and her needs when no one else did.
“Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the Lord, Who had spoken to her. She said, ‘You are the God who sees me.’ She also said, ‘Have I truly seen the One Who sees me?’” Genesis 16:13
In the dark times of life, when hope seems absent, we have a God who sees us. He knows everything about us–we don’t surprise, shock, or traumatize Him with our words and actions. His willingness to see who we really are is His gentle embracing of all our roughness. He sees us in love and invites us into relationship with Him.
There are lots of spaces in life where we can try to hide from others, but we can never hide from God.
In His eyes, He sees us as worthy of His love.
If we will receive the gift of love He gives us in Jesus.
I don’t want to hide from that.