We have a neighbor who is a hermit. He has been so hurt by life, it seems, that he has shut out much of the world and hides away in his heavily forested property. We visit him from time to time and he is always kind to us, but his friends are few and far between, I think. For some reason, many years ago, he gave up on the world as most of us know it and has decided to hide away.
I remember hearing as a child that life would be hard. I didn’t know what the adults meant who said these things and simply couldn’t understand. My life has not been hard by most standards, but I understand now what those wise grownups meant. Life is hard. People make it hard. I make it hard for myself. Sin, disease, and death make it hard. But the answer isn’t in hiding away from the world. The answer to life’s difficulties is in seeking. Specifically, seeking the Lord.
Discouragement and disappointment can be so deceiving to our minds. For some reason, we can get so caught up by these emotions that we become blind to the truth that God is waiting for us to turn to Him. Instead of seeking Him, we hide. Maybe we think that we need to figure life out before we can go to Him. Maybe we are ashamed of sin or a foolish mistake that we have made, and don’t want to face the One who is truth and light. Whatever our mixed up thinking is, the devil seems to be in the confusion because it moves us away from God.
Baby Red was the smallest chicken in my flock this spring. She was not well somehow and did not grow like the others in the group. She was an easy target for the big hens to pick on, and one day when I came to the barn, I couldn’t find her. I searched high and low and only found her by chance as I was leaving the barnyard. Out of the corner of my eye I happened to see a little chicken moving in the tall grass far from where she should have been. I snatched her right up and returned her to the safety of the coop. She had a small speck of blood on her beak, and I can only guess that she had been pecked at and scared. She ran in fear and hid out in the tall grass, where I found her.
Do you know how long I looked for that silly bird? Almost an hour, I think. She mattered to me! I couldn’t just leave her to be found by a fox or some other predator. I did my absolute best to find her.
Do you know that when we hide, God seeks us? He is a faithful shepherd, and we are His sheep. If you are hiding from Him for some reason, He is searching in love and mercy and grace for you. And it’s when you turn your heart to seek Him, that He will welcome you and rejoice over your return to the flock.
James 4 says, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture? But more than a pretty image, it’s a wonderful promise. Dear friend, if you are hiding today, turn to seeking. You may need courage to bring your hurts and failures and even sin along with you. But you will always find the throne of God to be a throne of grace, ready to welcome you back to Himself.