When we were all little guys, most of us loved to play Hide & Seek. The anticipation of being found at any moment—and usually trying hard to be found—was enough to make us pee in our little pants.
Somewhere around the middle school, hormone-induced days, we drop the Seek part, and just begin to Hide. As we move through high school and college, we start mastering the game. Now, of course, for many of us, there were sins that we put out there for everyone to see. That’s called rebellion. But there are still plenty that we hid. Today, due to the downward spiral of the culture, things one generation hid, the current one is posting pictures of it on social media.
But the real hiding I’m talking about has to do with our hearts. Somewhere along the boy to man path, the flesh teaches us to hide, to protect the secrets of the heart at all costs. By the time many of us reach marrying age and we find our bride, we are the ninja masters of Hide. The very thing we now need to do, and our wife wants, is to know our heart, yet it is well hidden.
What causes this strange condition? Well, fear is a big motivator. Fear of rejection and disapproval. And the big soul killer—condemnation.
What do we do about hiding?
The first thing we have to understand is it goes all the way back to man’s initial response when he knew he’d blown it with God. He hid. Adam officially changed the game by dropping the Seek part. Adam did not want God to find him—ever.
The Adam pattern kicks into our hearts at some point during boyhood and grows deep roots throughout manhood. We start hiding from God, from parents, from friends, from anyone who might really get to know us and disapprove.
This is why in marriage as soon as disappointment and disapproval rears its head from our wives, we . . . hide. Deeper. And as she comes after us, we just dive a little further.
And then this is when we so often open ourselves up to things that we think comfort us, if even for a moment, but they actually just compound and complicate the problem. And cause the hiding to get worse, because the shame is greater.
As men, we are all hiding. It’s just a matter of how much and from whom.
Alright, so what do we do? . . . While healthy relationships are a huge support and encouragement, such as a godly wife, Christian friends, pastors, etc., the only One Who can bring us out of hiding is the same One Who came after us in the Garden. Just as the root problem started there, the Answer still lies there as well.
God knew where Adam was, but He wanted Adam to willfully come out and face Him. God knows where I am. He knows where you are. And God is there . . . seeking. Always seeking. But it’s no game anymore. It’s life and death. Taking His hand, facing Him, going to our Father is the only way out of hiding.
He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. —Acts 17:27 MSG