Hide and Seek (02-10-20)
Bible Reading: Isaiah 55. 6 - 7
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
Our granddaughter, Melody, has just discovered the delights of Hide and Seek. One of her new-found joys in visiting the Rectory is the number of good hiding places - under coats or, even better still, under long clergy robes in the cloakroom, under desks in our studies, under beds or in various built-in cupboards upstairs. She has mastered the idea of counting and ‘coming ready or not’ and the idea of taking turns. However, she has not quite learnt, that just because she can’t see us, this does not mean that we cannot still see her. Often her idea of hiding is still relatively visible to the seeker! And then, after a suitable time spent seeking, there are the infectious giggles and whoops of delight when she is discovered.
Isaiah challenges us to seek the Lord while he may be found. Although we may think God is well hidden, in my experience when I look carefully, God is really not that hidden from view at all. I don’t have to count and then come to God whether he is ready or not! God is always ready, waiting for me to seek him out. He is near whenever I search him out, usually nearer than I think. And he is always delighted to be found, overflowing in forgiveness, mercy and love.
On the other hand, there are times when it’s me hiding, usually because I am disappointed or angry or ashamed. I withdraw from God and other people. A bit like Melody, I forget that I am still visible to God, that I can never really hide from him, because he is all-knowing and ever present in my life. He is just waiting again for me to turn to him to receive his mercy and pardon.
With all the challenges and uncertainties of Covid-19, lockdowns and social restrictions, we can feel impatient and irritable. God may feel even more hidden than usual, but the truth remains the same: seek and you will find.
I believe in the sun, even when it doesn’t shine. I believe in love, even when I don’t feel it. I believe in God, even when he remains hidden and silent. Amen.
(Written by German Jews suffering Nazi persecution during WW2)