We used to play hide-and-seek-in-the-dark with the whole family, nowhere in the house taken off limits. We found some fantastic hiding places-- like when my dad stashed my youngest sister into the space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. Or hiding the trash can somewhere else, and tucking oneself into that cabinet it belonged in. Or just standing so flat and so still between a wall and a door. Or behind a dresser that had just enough space behind it. Or under a bunk bed, pulling everything back into place under the bed behind oneself, careful to breathe quietly.
It sometimes took quite a long time to find each other. On occasion, we've even given up looking, and the hider came out when we all had our eyes closed, and they got to keep that hiding place.
Sometimes, like Adam, we hide from God. (Gen 3:8-10). Perhaps, like Adam and Eve, we hide out of shame, or perhaps there are other reasons. But God loves us and comes lovingly looking for us. And there's no where we can hide that He won't be right there with us. It's like God doesn't understand how hide-and-seek works... how you're supposed to let the little kids think they've got a fantastic spot and wait for them to pop out and scare you.
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." (Psalm 139:7-12).
But, do you know what I consider more wonderful than God always finding us? When we seek God, we'll always find Him. God, who created the whole universe, probably knows some pretty epic hiding places. But he doesn't use them. His goal isn't to be undiscovered, as in our little game, but to be found.
"You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD." Jeremiah 29:13-14a.
And God decided that just being found by us wasn't enough. He ruined his best hiding places. He came right to us, right into this world, right into our hearts.
Merry Christmas, everyone!