Jesus has got to be the best there is at Hide & Seek. I'm not kidding. I've always been intrigued by the many instances in which He commanded people who had been healed by Him to "tell no one." I mean, what was He thinking? How could you expect a leper who had just been healed to keep quiet about it? Such a miracle would open the door for him to return to his family, to hold his children and to see his friends again! Yet Jesus said, "Tell no one" (Luke 5:14). Or how could you expect the parents of a child whom Jesus has raised from the dead to be silent? Their friends knew their daughter had died, and Jesus had just asked many of them to leave the house in which they were mourning the child's death. Doesn't Jesus realize that these people will see the child alive very soon? And yet He "charged them to tell no one what had happened" (Luke 8:56).
Whatever Jesus' reasons for giving such commands (which were frequently ignored, as is very clear in Mark 7:36), we can certainly learn one thing from these stories about Jesus: He doesn't seem to mind being hard to find. He liked to keep a low profile even as He went about doing exceptional things. And I think He's still doing the same thing today, though for different reasons.
When was the last time you wondered, "God, where are you?" Have you ever asked that? The psalmists did. Such as in Psalm 10, which begins with, "Why do you stand afar off, O LORD? Why do you hide in times of trouble?" And yet, God is often doing exceptional works of grace in our lives in the very same seasons we find ourselves asking God that question. When He walked this earth, Jesus tended to avoid publicity so that people couldn't coerce Him to do what He wasn't prepared to do, such as to take up an earthly throne. And now that He lives in our hearts, Jesus sometimes prevents us from seeing what He's doing in our lives so that we can learn to trust Him no matter what, which is what is truly necessary for Him to be on the throne of our hearts!
We can see that He hides, but Jesus also likes to seek. In fact, the very reason He came to earth as a man was "to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). The very same Lord and Saviour who chooses to hide His face from us in times of adversity, testing our hearts and growing our faith, is continuously seeking us, interceding for us (Romans 8:34) and rescuing us when we get lost (Luke 15:4). That should assure our hearts that we won't get lost amidst the trials we face, or miss God's purposes despite our inability to see all that's He's up to. For though God may sometimes choose to hide Himself from us, His thoughts and ways being so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9), we can be sure that He will also continually seek after us to make sure we don't lose our way.
Yes, Jesus is the ultimate at Hide & Seek. He hides from us to grow our faith, and He seeks after us to make sure our faith finds Him!
© 2015 by Ken Peters