Luke 19:10 - The son of Man has come to seek and save the lost.
Did you ever play Hide and seek as a child? I did! And I loved it, not only am I the best at hiding but I am the BEST at hiding other people (a title I have given myself). As I got too old and my nieces and nephews got older and wanted to play, I was brilliant at hiding them. I would hide them in cupboards, in the bath, in the linen, on the window ledge, I even hid one of my nieces under my pillow. It was difficult but BRILLIANT. To the point where the other kids plying would cry because they couldn’t find the child I had hidden. My sister panicked once and threatened punishment if my nieces didn’t come out of the place that I had put them. It was wonderful and I am undefeated. Challenge me if you’re ready to loose!
The times when I wouldn’t get involved, I would let the kids hide themselves. The best part about this was I always knew where they were but would take my time to find them so they felt good about themselves. One day I was playing with my nephew and after about 3 minutes of hiding he came out of his hiding place and came to find me. Ready to explain to him this isn’t how the game worked, I asked him why he revealed himself and he said ‘It was a little bit lonely where I was, I was ready for you to find me’. He told me it was dark, and he didn’t want to be alone anymore, he wanted to be with me and help find the others.
This happened three years ago, my nephew was only three. But the story came to me recently and then I had this thought. I wonder if this life that we are living mimics one big game of hide and seek? God is the seeker and we are doing the hiding. Now I know what you’re thinking, this is going to be a post for new Christians or people who haven’t made a commitment to God yet to come out of their hiding places and be with God. If that’s what you’re thinking you’re Absolutely right, that’s exactly what this is. But I’m also talking to you, you’ve been a Christian a while. But you’re hiding. Either hiding completely or hiding parts of yourself from the ultimate seeker.
What’s strange is that hiding in this context doesn’t just mean hiding from the line of vision of the seeker, it also means hiding in plain sight. There’s something you’re doing, or holding on to that you know you shouldn’t. But you’re actively hiding it from God for a whole host of reasons. Maybe you’re embarrassed or ashamed, maybe you’re frightened, you don’t know what showing it to God is going to do. Maybe you’re trying to protect something? A friend or a child maybe? You don’t want to Give it to God because you trust yourself more than you trust him. That is one way to hide. Or maybe you’re just literally hiding from God. You’re running from him because you aren’t ready to be found. You’re safe in your hiding place. Or maybe it’s both, one moment you’re walking with the seeker, and then next you’re hiding behind the curtains. With your feet sticking out.
Can I tell you, whatever or however you are hiding, he knows exactly where you are. But the best thing about our Heavenly Father is he is a gentleman. He will not drag you out of your hiding place. He is the ultimate seeker. Luke 19:10 says ‘for the son of man (Jesus) has come to seek and save those who are lost’. I think I am amazing at hide and seek but I promise, there is no greater seeker than Jesus. Because his motive is pure. His motive is love. One version in the bible says he has come to seek and ‘restore’ the lost. Restore literally means to give back or to return what was lost. The bible says that’s the only reason he came, was to restore. That’s why he was here, he left HEAVEN to find and restore you. So whatever you’re worrying about giving him, showing him or telling him, the sole reason he wants to be with you, is to restore you. That’s it.
But the question is, are you ready or not? My nephew was ready. He didn’t want to hide anymore. He told me he was lonely and wanted to be found. He wanted to switch from being a hider to a seeker. He wanted to help
Me find others. We can do the same. If you’re tired of hiding, come out. Go to the seeker and tell him you want to be found. You give up. Playing this game called life is much better with him than without him. And while he’s restoring you, he’ll give you the task of helping him seek others. He is the only one that can do the saving, but we get to point people to him. To help walk people out of their hiding places. To help people realise that they need to be found, a privilege afforded to us by the precious grace of God.
Friends, You can’t seek if you’re hiding. It’s one or the other, choose what role you want to play. Do you want to be a seeker? Or are you happy hiding? I guarantee you if I left the rest of the kids long enough, they would have joined my nephew in coming out of their hiding place.
Take that step, come out of hiding. He’s waiting, all he wants to do is restore. He loves you that much.
We love you