Remember, as a child, playing hide-and-seek?
Running and hiding as fast as you can from whoever was “it.” Then, preparing to be discovered with anticipation? It’s an exciting game, but playing hide and seek as an adult is not nearly as satisfying.
As an adult, hide and seek sounds like this
“I can no longer do that because of my pain.”
“I used to do that, but because of ________, I just can’t do it anymore.”
“I guess I’m going to sit this one out. My heart can’t take it anymore!”
Maybe you are hiding behind anger, unprocessed trauma, addiction, pride, or unforgiveness. You may find yourself running from pain as an adult-somedays; it may feel like you’re just trying to find yourself with the pain. Perhaps you are hiding from God.
It’s time to seek a better solution. Do not allow pain to determine how you live your life. It’s not the way God intends our lives to be lived.
Real, lasting change has to happen first in your heart. The belief that drives the behavior has to change for there to be lasting results. Your daily habits create the conditions of your heart.
Five habits towards a healthy heart hidden in Him
In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul urges us to “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you?” We all know ourselves to a certain extent. Some of us shut out what we don’t like inside of us. The reality is that we’re not always the best judges of our hearts. We can be quick to judge others and not realize that we could be in trouble. If we are following Jesus, then that faith in him should translate into obedience. If our lives don’t line up with what we profess to believe, then it’s time for self-reflection. We have to ask: What’s my story? What are my strong points? What are my shortcomings? What are my aspirations? How does this impact my relationship with Jesus? Connection with God requires knowing both who you are as well as who God is.
Know where to hide
The hiding places that destroy us are usually contained deep within our hearts. We often go back to familiar places we’ve hidden before, places where brokenness and temporary comfort coexist. We need to run towards the protection of God, not the illusion of safety, temporary emotional, mental, and physical idols that fill us for a moment. It’s in Him we find lasting refuge. “You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7). Take time to identify safe, healthy people and places to run to in time of need.
Know the content of your heart
We all have desires in life that come from deep within us. We don’t always know why we have these urges; we only know that craving inside us is crying out for fulfillment. It may be the desire to explore, the desire to move to another place, the desire to change jobs, the desire to write stories, the desire to produce beautiful works of art, the desire to assist others, the desire to explore talent, or the desire to seek a new degree, etc. But we conceal our impulses occasionally, bury them, or we disregard them – we hide. Maybe we hide behind uncertainty, and doubts, perhaps because it seems too insane to have an idea, or perhaps because we don’t know how to make those desires come true, we tuck them away in their very own hiding place. Perhaps we don’t know who to approach, and maybe we don’t know who took the route before us that we should pursue. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good, and an evil man out of an evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Take time to sit with yourself, without distraction and outside opinion. Ask yourself: What is abundant in your heart today? What do you truly desire? What do you fear? What do you run towards, and what do you wish could be different about your life?
Know your distractions
We’ve all learned the value of disconnecting from the things that hold our attention hostage. But are you ever fully unplugged? “But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me’” (Luke 10:40). Martha was distracted. The original Greek word in this verse is perispao — “to be overly occupied about a thing; to be drawn away.” Too many things are competing for our attention, and when we allow them to steal our time, we lose our concentration. Our ears can not hear Jesus’ call to walk with Him if we are overly busy and concerned with other things. Distractions from 24/7 technology, work, and sin can interrupt relationships, sleep, reflection, and interaction with life that happens all around us. So, look for time of day and commit to wholly unplug and reconnect with God and loved ones around you.
Know What You’re Seeking
What’s your treasure? “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
Here are some questions to help identify what you’re seeking after:
Outside of your bills, where do you spend most of your money?
When you are not at work or school, where do you spend the majority of your time?
What is the first thing you do after you wake up and get ready?
If something is of great value to you, there’s no masking it. The significance you attach to the various things in your life is apparent by your priorities.
You treat what you treasure like a treasure.
Life-changing things happen when the perception of a treasure aligns with God’s idea.
We enter into seasons of disconnection as we become neglectful of God. It is almost as if God is hidden behind the curtain of our desires for the flesh. That is why we are told to “continuously seek His presence.
God calls us to enjoy him. It makes a lot more sense when we understand how we were made to receive the love and treasures God has for us.
If you find yourself hiding from God today, it’s time to come out and start seeking his truth and promises for your life. We are not hidden from Him; God sees us right where we are. He knows the depth of our problems and pain better than we do. As we learn from Him and grow, He invites us to come out of hiding so that He can look into our faces and delight us. He longs to be discovered by those who are pursuing him earnestly. The Lord is ready and waiting to be found by you! This is an experience you don’t want to miss. Ready or not, here I come!
If you have any questions or comments, please email [email protected]. Go to livethelifesoflo.org for a schedule of classes for 2021. Jessica Campbell, director of social media for Live the Life South Florida, contributed to this article. Read more articles by Lisa May at goodnewsfl.org/author/lisa-may/