Earlier this year I was meeting with some of the lovely young mums from my church for our weekly Wednesday prayer group. I think we had been talking about the new year and asking God about what plans He had for us in the coming 12 months. As we began to pray I felt the Holy Spirit remind me of a scene from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – the part when the kids are stuck in a big, old, unfamiliar house, while it is pouring with rain outside and they are bored. Lucy suggests that they play hide and seek, her older siblings reluctantly agree and Peter starts to count, 1,2,3…. In the movie the sound track starts up with the brilliant trumpet intro to the 1930’s song “Oh Jonny, oh Jonny”, and the kids disperse to find suitable hiding places. Susan finds an empty blanket box in the hallway and Lucy hides behind a thick curtain until Edmund comes and steals her spot. Having been expelled from her hiding place, Lucy then goes on up the stairs to find the wardrobe, and that is when all the real adventure begins! As I played this little movie clip in my mind I felt God speak to me – He said “I will be found by you!”.
I don’t know if you’ve ever played hide and seek with a toddler? It is hilarious! They choose a fairly obvious spot (say under the table) and don’t keep still or quiet so you immediately know where they are! Despite this knowledge you have to pretend to look everywhere else first, “Are they in the cupboard? no! Are they behind the door? no!”, until you eventually feign shock when you spot them under the table! And then they hide again – in exactly the same place! Everytime!
I love this bit from The Message version of Psalm 139;
Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit?
to be out of your sight?
If I climb to the sky, you’re there!
If I go underground, you’re there!
If I flew on morning’s wings
to the far western horizon,
You’d find me in a minute—
you’re already there waiting!
We can’t hide from God. He will always find us. It’s not even hard for Him – we are just like that toddler under the table. But I also love that He invites us to find Him!
Another very well used and often quoted bible verse is from Jeremiah 29:11-14 which says;
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord”
What stood out to me when I sat down to journal this passage later that same day was how different this section of scripture feels when we take it in it’s context. This promise from God for prosperity and hope was originally spoken by Jeremiah to a people about to be sent into exile to Babylon! To a nation conquered who would be leaving their homes and living in another land as strangers, adapting to a foreign culture. It was not their ideal plan by any means! But isn’t it often true that in times when things don’t follow our plan A, in the change and upheaval, in the journey to exile when our lives take an unexpected turn, these are the times that we truly seek God. And that is when we find Him! And like Lucy, loosing her hiding place unjustly, we go on to find that God has an even bigger adventure waiting! I hope you have as much fun searching as I am!
Love Rach. x
P.s. The black and white picture above was taken of my youngest daughter playing hide and seek with my friend Jules a few years back. Jules and I were crying with laughter because my daughter had no idea how close she was to finding her!