When Hide and Go Seek Becomes Not So Fun
Have you ever-played hide and seek? I am sure all of you have. I loved it as a child and honestly, if truth were known, I still love it today. There is something special about the game, because it is a challenge to me. I love the thrill of hiding and someone finding me. I never liked to be “it” however. I always wanted to be the one hiding, so I could use my superior stealth skills. I know. I know. Some of you are laughing now. It’s ok. I do have stealth skills.
There was something that always bummed me out though. It was when I felt like there was not anyone searching for me. The person who was “it” would go and seek out all those who had less superior hiding skills. I would be so well hidden that it seemed they gave up on me.
I remember once, at an overnight get together, a group of us guys were playing the game out in the woods. I found a great spot and I hid myself up and under an embankment. It was the perfect spot. However, now when I think about it, it was a place where I could have gotten wrapped up with a snake or got a huge tarantula spider bite. I did not think about that at the time.
I remember it was getting dusky dark, but I still hid out, determined I was not going to be found. I waited, and waited, and waited. It seemed like I was never going to be found. It really got lonely and the silence became hard for me to encounter. I remember peeking out from my spot and I saw no one. I then became afraid. What if all the others had left me. I knew it was going to be completely dark soon.
I began to think through the situation and really, I did not hear anybody seeking for me. I came out of my hiding and I started yelling, “Anybody out here?” No response. I then ran frantically out of the woods looking around for anybody. Nobody was outside. I panicked and thought an alien abduction had just taken place.
I ran to the house and there I saw something that rocked me to the core. All of my friends had gone inside and were eating smores. They had left me outside on a cold, dark, July night to go it all alone. I was devastated until I was handed my own stack of smores and all was forgotten.
David is in a different spot. He believes God has forgotten him. He is calling out to God, but there seems to be no answer from Him. In Psalm 13 David says, “O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?” David is feeling like he is the one left out in the woods, all alone and forgotten.
How about you? Ever felt that way? Have you ever felt like God has forgotten you? Remember, this is a safe place where we all can be vulnerable. You are not alone. I know life is a little deeper than hide and go seek, but I have been at that exact spot in life. I have been like David. I have cried out, “O, God have you forgotten me?” I can hear the anguish in David’s prayer because I know the anguish. David wants the sparkle to return to his eye. He is tired of feeling as if he is alone.
You know I really dislike this part of life. I do not like feeling alone. I want to be surrounded by people. I like “noise”. Silence is very irritating to me at times. I play music almost all the time because I do not like silence. However, sometimes God places me where there is complete silence. I don’t hear the song in my heart. I can’t hear His still small voice and during those times I become very afraid. I crave to run, but in life where do I run? Is there safety in anything, but God? No.
He is our safety. There is refuge under His wings. David was tired of feeling forgotten, but he did not quit loving His Lord. I have witnessed throughout my life people, who have faced difficult places and circumstances in their lives, quit. They throw in the towel the first time they experience the silence. As I sit here writing, I am thinking about a man who experienced a difficult and lonely place in his life.
My friend, Danny, had to watch his loving wife, Rhonda, suffer through the terrible disease of cancer. He walked beside her every step of the way and he loved her deeply. I saw their love grow stronger in her darkest days. I am sure at times in God’s silence and in Rhonda’s silence he would just quit, but today his resolve to follow his Savior is stronger. It is men, such as this, who have helped me keep going in the difficult times. Danny has been a testimony to me, even when he did not realize it. Were the days of silence in his life hard? Yes. Did he give up on hope? No.
When David was struggling he said in Psalm 13, “But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.” Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:21-24 said, “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
Pain and loneliness is a natural part of life and none of us can escape it. Broken relationships, death of those we love, missed opportunities, and rough seasons in our lives will always be with us. When they do come we can either become bitter, quit, or we can become hopeful. The choice is ours. The choice was Danny’s and the choice has been mine.
It is good for us to become honest with God about our feeling, but eventually we will need to change our perspective. When we focus on the silence and pain we won’t solve anything, but when we focus on God’s unfailing love our perspective will definitely change. No matter how much anger we spew at God, He still loves us. He is a constant we can always depend on.
Can we have hope even in our darkest days? You bet we can, David did and so can we. We must remember and trust in God’s unfailing love. As sure as the sunrise His mercies are new every morning. So if you feel as if you have been forgotten, or you are hanging out in the silence of the dark woods, remember have hope because God’s faithful love never ends and He is always seeking you out. He will never leave you and go for hot smores, “therefore, I will hope in him!”