As a little girl, I remember many games of Hide-and-Seek. The goal was to hide well and not be found...at least not be the first one found! I had a friend who hid SO well that there were times that she literally could not be found! For most of us, we hid but we all were eventually found...that's what made it fun! We WANTED to be found.
But, you know the person who is IT in Hide-and-Seek? The person who has to find everyone? I never liked being IT. There was too much pressure to find everyone! The IT must be tenacious when the seeking gets tough. Weren't you always annoyed with the kid that gave up while you were in your hiding place?
And somehow, after we'd hidden so well and the seeker couldn't find us we'd then blame the seeker. 'You didn't look hard enough! You gave up on me! You got tired and quit! I wasn't important enough for you to keep looking!'
Real life is so much like this children's game. We like to hide but we want to be found. And in some cases, we want to be found out. For if we're found someone has cared enough to look, to seek for us. Even when the hiding place is so good and so difficult to find...we cry out...'find me'. What a paradox!
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you...Matthew 7:7-12
Let's look at three key words:
Ask - this implies an actual request...Speaking and then receiving.
Seek - this implies looking. Eyes seek and eyes get opened to find.
Knock - is an action. Hands knock and doors open.
These three words are action words. They do not lie dormant but they provide a path to real life healing and wholeness. These three small actions allow me to communicate with the God of the universe in great honesty. For nothing I will ever ask will be 'too much'. He will never be surprised by what I seek or even where I'm looking. He even knows I will knock on wrong doors again and again. And, it is in these actions that I am able to actively grow and trust.
So even as these verses teach me the joy in 'seeking', I confess that most times, in this real game of Life Hide-and-Seek, I am one who is hiding. Many times I don't actively seek because I'm fearful of answers and hiding seems easier. So hide I do and I can hide really well!
You remember, the 'it' in Hide-and-Seek? I can still hear kids screaming, "He's it....watch out Kathy! He's going to see you....He's it"!! Well, yes indeed, He's IT.... the true IT in this life game is only God. He is the Seeker. He is our pursuer. He is the One who is tenaciously searching for our hiding places. He asks us to be found, He seeks us out, He knocks and knocks. He has modeled these three action words for us. For when I let myself be found by Him the stress in my life somehow dissolves, the worries cease, the laughter flows and Joy floods in.
Lastly, I have to understand the personality of the One I seek and Who is seeking me. My definition of Him must be correct and clear. For any distortion creates a god that is just like me...imperfect, unholy, flawed, damaged and deeply lost. The One who seeks for us is thoroughly unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness.
Often times our thoughts have been wrong about the Seeker. He will not give us stone when we ask for bread. He will not give us a snake when we ask for fish. He is not some wizard behind a curtain toying with us.
Let's not put our human personalities and frailties on Him. He is the King that left His throne to
come engage in our Hide-and-Seek. He will NEVER stop looking for us. He will never fail to hear our asks, lead our seeking and answer our knocks!
Do we dare be found?