“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
I found the perfect spot. It would take forever for them to find me this time! I squeezed in between the bush and the side of the house where it seemed only the cat could fit. The branches poked into my back and I had to tuck my face between my knees to keep from getting scratched. The discomfort was worth it. I had the best spot ever! I heard a faint “Ready or not, here I come!” and then, “found you!” as each of my friends sucky hiding places were discovered. I could see feet between on the far side of the branches as my seekers tried in vain to find me. “Renee, I know you’re out there. I’m going to find you!” I listened as they went to all the usual spots. My legs were cramping and branch poking my back was starting to hurt, but I kept my spot. I breathed softly. I waited to be found. I waited some more. I couldn’t hear them anymore. “They must be looking somewhere else,” I thought, “Everyone will be so jealous of my awesome spot!” I waited some more. No sounds came my way. After what seemed like hours, I backed out of the coolest spot ever and stood up. No one was around. I became the seeker. I finally found them all inside playing Mario Brothers on the Nintendo. What!? They’d just given up and left me stranded!? Buttheads. I stomped off to my room to sulk feeling very angry and betrayed.
How diligent are we in seeking Jesus? I’m not suggesting that Jesus is playing this big, heavenly hide-and-seek game with us (and I’m sure He doesn’t call us buttheads!), but I am suggesting that there are treasures and mysteries out there that God wants to give us. He wants us to be diligent in seeking Him. Think about the progression of hide-and-seek. When you play with a baby, you don’t even go anywhere. You sit right in front of her, cover your face with your hands; “Where’s the baby? There she is!” You don’t wait more than 2 seconds to remove your hands or she quickly looses interest. When she becomes a toddler, you hide behind a chair door so you are easily found. You have 2 or 3 spots that are favorites and she gleefully runs to them in succession until you are revealed. As she becomes older, your hiding spots become more advanced. It takes her longer to find you, and she either remains vigilent and continues to delight in the game or she looses interest and you are left sitting and playing the game by yourself.
When a person is a new believer, she is a baby. Jesus is right there in front of her! It doesn’t take much to find Him. But she is not to remain a baby! He wants to help her grow. He wants a deeper relationship. He delights in the process! I can just hear Him thinking, “Oh, I can’t wait! She’s going to be so blessed when she discovers this secret place!” He is waiting for her to find him so they can talk and He can reveal more of Himself to her. But what if she quits trying to find Him? She looks in all of the usual spots; church, worship music, favorite Bible verses, TV and radio broadcasts, but when He is not easy found, she looses interest. She either quits trying to find him altogether or she just goes back to her familiar ground and waits for Him to come to her. She goes to church every Sunday expecting Him to show up, but she does not make an effort to look any farther. She stays a baby, and she becomes content to do so. Jesus is sad because He had so much to show her!
I want to be someone who is always seeking. The more I seek, the more I find and the deeper my relationship with Jesus becomes. And I come to realize that He is enjoying the “game” too! He delights in my presence! Sometimes it takes weeks and months of diligence, of discipline, like waking up an hour early every morning, but it is so worth it.
“I love all who love me.
Those who search will surely find me.” Proverbs 8:17
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17