I could see little wiggling toes peeking from the bottom of the curtains. Gleeful giggles echoed through the room.
“Mom, come and find us!”
I called out to my children, asking where they were and pretending not to see tiny hands ruffling the curtains, feigning inability to find them. “Where’s Grey? Where’s Harlow?”
“Here’s Harlow!!” squealed my silly girl, unwittingly ending the game.
I’m sure you’ve played this age-old game. Maybe with your siblings or classmates. Maybe now with your grandkids.
Maybe with God.
I’ve been studying the fall in Genesis 3. Adam and Eve played hide-and-seek with God. They didn’t really set out to rebel and hide from Him, but through their actions, they unwittingly set the course for the rest of us to begin the to and fro game of hide-and-seek with God.
The thing that stood out to me in the story of the garden of Eden is God’s desire for communion with the creations He formed and the protection He provided them. I think we get too caught up in the “rules” He gave them and forget that everything He gives and withholds is to protect us.
After Adam and Eve committed the first sin and realized they had sinned against God, their instinct was to then create something new and use it to hide.
Remember that time you messed up and instead of running to God, you thought you could just move some things around and cover it up?
Or what about that time your friend tried every other thing to fix her unhappiness rather than just telling God that she’d made a mistake?
It’s hard. We don’t want to be wrong, but we also tend to have this idea in the backs of our minds that makes us feel like God is waiting to strike us with a lightening bolt and banish us from the garden if we aren’t perfect.
But if we read into the story and cultivate our relationship with Him, I think we can appreciate a sweetness to it that is opposite from the bitterness we are taught about rotten fruit.
Adam and Eve were not successfully hiding from God. He could see their toes wiggling near the willow tree and heard the flapping of the fronds. God called out to them, but not because He didn’t already know where they were or what they had done. He wanted to love on them.
Friends, I know you’re tired of hiding. The fronds are getting heavy and you’ve grown bored of the willow trees. You’ve gotten used to being in the shade and know the back way to the river. You know all of the creatures on this side of the garden.
But you were called for more.
You were created in the very image of God. That alone makes you worthy.
You are worthy of redemption. You are worthy of a new story. A new start. A new heart.
Leave your old, brittle failures at His feet.
You don’t have to hide behind the things that have happened to you or run from the past anymore. Let God show you another part of the garden. One you didn’t even know was there. A place you thought was reserved for others, but not you.
Maybe you don’t have a green thumb, but I bet you’d like helping take care of the others in the garden. Maybe preparing food from the garden is more your thing. There’s also work to be done to the fence around it. Or maybe you can go back to the river and bring others to this part of the garden.
If you’re feeling like you can’t leave the blades behind and you’re fidgeting from fear rather than the childlike anticipation of being found, take a play from Harlow’s book and say, “Here’s [insert your name]!!”
He sees you. He never left. He’ll take it from there.
Genesis 3:1-10 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
Jeremiah 23:24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.
Luke 8:17 “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything that will not be known and come to light.”
Psalm 139:7 “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?”
Isaiah 29:15 “Woe to those who deeply hide their plans from the Lord, and whose deeds are done in a dark place, and they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”