“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 among the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3:8)
Hide and seek. I’m sure we all played it as a child. Trying to find the perfect spot where we wouldn’t be detected. But we would always be found. It was a fun game as a child, but as an adult, not so much fun. Yet still we hide. We try to hide ourselves from others. We see someone coming down the aisle in the store that we really don’t want to talk to, so we do a sharp right turn down another aisle. We see a neighbor coming out of their door and we really don’t want to talk to them, so we lock our door and hide away from the front window just in case they’re headed to our place. Hiding is what we could call a normal part of life.
But let’s talk about hiding from God – just like Adam and Eve did back in the Garden. How do we hide from God you ask? For one, we stop going to church, and make excuses to others why we haven’t been there in months. We wean ourselves away from prayer and reading our bible, trying to rationalize our neglect by telling ourselves we just don’t have the time to do that anymore. We drop out of that bible study we used to enjoy going to, thinking it’s not as relevant for us as it used to be. Why does this sort of complacency happen? Answer – we are afraid we will be exposed. We might be fearful the sin, or laziness and coldness that has crept into our hearts, is going to be exposed; so we just stop all the spiritual stuff. Then like Adam and Eve, we seek out a place in the trees to conceal what we don’t want God or others to know about us. The reason Adam and Eve hid was because they had sinned. We do the same when we sin. We try to find a place to hide!
I John 1:5 tells us that, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Jesus proclaimed in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world.” Because God is light, he is going to expose everything we try to hide. If we are in a dark room, and even one small light is turned on, that light will always dispel the darkness, because light is stronger than the darkness. God wants to shine his light into the darkest, hidden recess of our hearts, in order to expose everything and anything we are trying to hide. Some may think that is meddling. God calls that grace. His grace wants to show us our self-inflicted darkness so that we can face it, confess it, and find the freedom in forgiveness we desperately need.
If you have been hiding from God recently, or for a while now, the best thing you can do is emerge yourself in God’s light and find the forgiveness and peace you need. It is time to stop hiding!