I remember as a child that I loved to play Hide and Go Seek. Now, I watch my children as they find thrill in finding a great spot to hide and anxiously with giggles wait to be found. Such fun and exciting times as a mom to sit back and watch them play, laugh and create memories. A long time childhood game, that still brings bursts of laughter and fun while knitting brotherly and sisterly relationships. That is just plain – well, awesome. You cannot buy that on a shelf or purchase it at your local store. That, friends, is priceless.
I was thinking about this game as the kids hustled about the house and tiptoed past me so no one could hear where they were heading. I thought about how some people hide and some people are just lost. What is the difference?
There was a time in my life that I thought I knew the direction I was to walk and where I was going. The plan was formulated in my mind and I was taking the necessary actions to get to that destination, but at the same time it was as though I was walking aimlessly. Nothing seemed to be what I thought it was going to be. The places that I thought were going to be grand and wonderful, were not as brightly colorful and shiny as I approached them. I felt lost. Actually, I was lost. The plans and purposes I had for my life were not the ones my creator had for me. Can anyone else witness this for me? We thought, “One day I will….” and then before we knew it “One day came…” and it was not nearly what we thought “One day” would be.
I was a lost gal. I arrived somewhere that was not what I expected and I did not know which way to turn. However, the most amazing thing happened. Someone showed up that had been chasing me and when I stopped long enough, I realized that I was being sought. This was not just a “somebody.” He was an everything to all people-body. His name was Jesus. It was at that pivotal moment in my life when I realized I did not know what to do or where to turn, that Jesus grabbed my hand and said, “Hey, come with me.”
When we are lost, we often are not sure which way to turn and will usually ask for help or try different directions. While to some degree that has the potential to be good, it also has the potential to be harmful and dangerous. Many people have knocked on the wrong door and headed down a dangerous path leading them to environments and people that they would not have normally chosen had they been where they were supposed to be.
Jesus came to seek the lost.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
He came to find those sheep that had strayed and were missing from the flock.
“Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:3-7)
If you feel lost, directionless and really have no place to turn, are at a crossroads without any direction signs pointing you which way to go…. stop and just ask Jesus to come and help you. He is not mad at you. He is not disappointed. His love is unconditional. Despite wrong choices, bad choices… despite running and dodging…. despite shortcomings and failures…. he loves you. You say, “No way can someone love me let alone like me after all I have done.” That would be our natural human thought! But Jesus says, “No, I love you. I love you always. I desire to be with you and near you. Let me help you. Let me love you. Let me lead you and show you. I have great things in store for you.”
(If you have never asked Jesus into your heart, take a moment and pray this prayer with me! Dear Jesus, I recognize that I am lost and have not been able to do life on my own. I have made mistakes, I have hurled insults and cast stones. I am imperfect in many ways, but I know that you are perfect and you are the director of paths. I ask that you would forgive me of my sins and create in me a clean heart, take out my heart of stone and restore me. I believe that you died on the cross to make this all a possibility because you love me, your creation. I accept this gift of eternal life and from this day forward want to walk with you all the days of my life. Thank you for your unconditional love and acceptance. ** If you prayed this prayer for the first time, you are a new creation in Christ. Please email me and share your story and mailing address. I would like to send you a free gift.)
At some point, we all will make the choice to serve and believe, the question is whom we will serve and in whom we will believe. As Christians, followers of Christ, it is important that we seek God’s direction in our life. That we communicate with him our hearts desires, that we share our thoughts and we listen for his whispers of assurance and direction.
Back to my original question: What is the difference in being lost and in hiding? Those who are lost do not know where to go, where they belong or are supposed to be. The path is unclear and the destination uncertain. They are wanderers. Walking without purpose or direction. But a person in hiding, knows where they are suppose to be. They know what they are suppose to do, yet, the choose to not follow the path (unlike Dorothy who did follow the yellow brick road!).
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
Adam and Eve sinned. They ate from the tree in which they were commanded not to eat. What was their reaction? To hide. God comes looking for them and he asks, “Where are you?” Adam and Eve are in hiding. How many of us are hiding behind a tree and trying to cover ourselves because we feel “naked?” Our nakedness is not due to the lack of clothing, but the exposure of what is really in our heart? Instead of coming to terms and fessing up that we have sinned, that we have anger, bitterness or unforgiveness in our hearts, we run and hide hoping to not be found? Opposite of why my children hide! They hide because they want to be found.
Hiding because of being naked, is really hiding because we do not want to be exposed. Adam and Eve did not want God to see them naked and expose their wrong. Maybe they thought by shielding themselves that it might be forgotten or overlooked or even hidden? Friends, God knows all, because he is all. If you have been in “hiding” because of something that you have done and you fear being exposed, let me tell you that nothing you have done will stop God from loving you. You can do nothing to make him love you more or less. Sure it might be painful and shameful and even humiliating to have to fess up to a wrong that you have committed, but how honorable it is to make restitution (righting your wrong.) God is not mad at you, he loves you. He desires to walk with the lost, the hiding and the found!
“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.” Jeremiah 29:11