The other night I joined my kids for a game of Hide-n-Seek. While they counted to 20, I quickly positioned myself behind a chair in our family room. However, it wasn’t until I got back there that I realized the space really wasn’t large enough. So I contorted my body into a perpetual crunch, bending my feet upward at the ankles so as to remain hidden from sight.
And I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited.
For nearly fifteen minutes I waited, listening impatiently to the pitter-patter of little feet up and down the stairs! There were a couple of times when my physical pain was nearly unbearable, and in those times I found myself struggling not to snicker audibly at the mere thought of my predicament. Finally my three-year-old daughter crawled up in the chair and looked over the edge of the back. I can honestly say I’ve never been so glad to be found in all my life!
Needless to say, that spot can never be used again . . . not that I would!
In reflecting on this experience, I began to wonder about the lengths people go to in order to hide from people in life — not physically but emotionally and spiritually.
Think about it. We all tend to show people just what we think they want to see — or what we’re comfortable with them seeing. When it comes to some of our deeper struggles, especially those laden with guilt and shame, we resort to the same skill set that Adam and Eve used in the Garden of Eden: hiding.
We hide behind smiles. We hide behind silence. We hide behind stories and work and food and shopping and sex. The list of options are truly endless.
But just like that over-sized kid hiding behind a chair, what we crave more than anything is actually to be found . . . to be accepted . . . to be loved.
You know, hiding didn’t work for Adam and Eve. And it won’t work for us either — at least not forever. God sees everything. He knows our name. He formed our heart. There’s nothing in the world that will keep Him from loving you.
As you go through your day today, make note of when you find yourself trying to hide from others. Sooner or later the pain of hiding will likely begin to exceed your fear of being found.
Scripture tells us that Christ alone is our hiding place. He’s the One who fully understands every need, every struggle, every burden. But sometimes we need others to be His hands and feet to demonstrate that love in physical ways.
If you are spending your time and energy hiding out, take action to break that pattern. Even if you’ve been disappointed in others, you can begin re-building relationships of security and trust right where you are today.
After all, it gets awfully lonesome behind that chair. And sooner or later, you’ll have to go potty.
IT’S YOUR TURN!
- Do you have a ‘big chair’ experience?
- What one thing most keeps you from being real with others?