Hide & Seek
“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 (NKJV)
If I were to caption this image, a suitable moniker would be: “Drama in the High Seas”. While at first glance this shot might not seem very dramatic, a closer look will reveal an age-long struggle for survival between two greatly mismatched opponents. In one corner of the conflict is the quick and darting juvenile yellow jack fish. A robust predator, the yellow jack’s anatomy is designed for speed and efficiency. Its streamlined shape reduces drag and energy expenditure. Its forked tail is designed for an optimal balance between forward thrust and endurance. The placement of its mouth in the terminal position at the end of its head is efficient for snatching food from the water column with its jaws. In the other corner of the conflict is the apparently defenseless tiny fish fry. They are so small that you can barely see them in the image, only appearing as specks near the center of the moon jelly. Normally no match for a predator such as the yellow jack, God created these tiny fish with what appears to be a single advantage: an awareness of their vulnerability to predators. It is this instinct that has caused the fish fry to wisely find protection in the bell of the moon jelly. Their apparent disadvantage quickly becomes an advantage as the small fry are so tiny, they are easily able to hide between the tentacles of the moon jelly without being stung. The yellow jacks are kept at bay by the threat of a painful and potentially fatal sting from the jelly’s translucent tentacles. As the current moves the drama along, the jacks circle the moon jelly aggressively while the fish fry fight to keep pace with the drifting jelly. A moment of lapsed vigilance and the fish fry might become exposed and become easy pickings for the yellow jack. It is a game of high stakes, winner-take-all, hide and seek.
Do you ever feel like you are caught up in a similarly intense game of hide and seek when you are trying to determine God’s will for your life? Whether the options for our future be few or many, sometimes it seems like God’s will regarding which path to take can be very hard to discern, indeed. Yet in these times of uncertainty, we must cling to the truth of God’s Word regarding His will for our lives. Consider these truths from the Bible:
Unity and Consistency. God will not direct us towards a path that is contrary to His Word. Our direction must be in unity with the character of God which has been consistently been displayed throughout history. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). While at times His direction for us may not make sense in our understanding, it will always be consistent with who He is described to be in Scripture.
Accessibility. One of the blessings that we enjoy as followers of Jesus Christ is that we serve the most accessible God in the universe. I find it humorous that in the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal, one of the taunts Elijah throws at the prophets is that maybe their god is not responding to their cries is because he is “busy” (1 Kings 18:27). Some translations of the Bible indicate that what Elijah was actually saying was that Baal was not responding because he was using the toilet. In dramatic comparison, this is never the case with the One True God. The Bible tells us that He never sleeps (Psalm 121:4), He is always concerned about His children’s protection (Isaiah 49:16) and He leans in to hear us when we pray (Psalm 116:2). God is not hiding Himself or His will from us, even when it seems like He is taking a long time to respond to our requests.
Timing is Everything. The Bible tells us that God has an appointed time for His plans and purposes to unfold. This is applicable to His largescale plan for the Universe, mankind and its redemption as well His personal plan for each one of His children. Listen to the words that God uses to encourage His prophet Habakkuk: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith” Habakkuk 2:3-4. These are the words from Yahweh, the Great I AM. He will reveal His plan at the right time in our lives. It is our prideful flesh that tells us we know better than God and causes us to become impatient or exasperated as we wait on Him. We must choose to walk in the Spirit and wait in humble expectation and faith that God will do all that He has set out to do.
Personal Responsibility. As we find ourselves in seasons of waiting on God, it might be tempting to sit back and do nothing. However, the Bible tells us that waiting is active. In Jesus Christ’s telling of the rich nobleman who leaves his servants in charge of his estate while he goes on a journey, the charge that the nobleman gives to them is “Occupy until I come” or “Do business until I come” (Luke 19:11-13). It is a picture of actively waiting on God by serving Him while we wait. Jeremiah 29:13 also gives us the responsibly to actively seek God with all our hearts. No half-hearted effort is acceptable. If we greatly desire for God to reveal Himself to us, we must be serious about our pursuit of Him via prayer and Bible study. God graciously responds to a wholehearted effort.
If you find yourself in a season of waiting on God, remind yourself that God is not hiding from you. He is not distant, disinterested or disengaged. He is our Good Shepherd who has placed Himself as an active participant in our daily lives. We can trust Him to do what is best for us.