“You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7
When our children, Wells and Simeon, were younger, they loved to play “hide-and-seek”. I’m a very competitive person. I realize that the point of playing games is to have fun but I believe it’s most fun to win. I’ve never been a big fan of losing.
Right from the start I could tell that Wells and Simeon were having difficulty understanding the point and purpose of the game. They consistently found the most pitiful hiding places. It took absolutely no effort for me to find them.
I’d say, “I’m going to count to 20. Go find a really good hiding place. 1, 2, 3,…20 Ready or not, here I come.” Almost as soon as I’d open my eyes, I’d see them hiding behind something like a blade of grass. I’d pretend not to see them. I didn’t want to hurt their feelings or self-esteem.
The longer I waited to find them, the more noise they would make. Good grief, they definitely were struggling to understand how to play the game! And as if that weren’t enough, as soon as I found, they both erupted in cheering and laughter. They loved being found and they hated hiding. Little did I know it, but Wells and Simeon were teaching me a lesson that I desperately needed to learn.
In Psalm 32, David recounts a time in his life when he learned the very same lesson. At the time, David was playing a game of hide-and-seek with God and the stakes were extremely high. David had disobeyed God and committed some serious sin. He was extremely worried about how God would respond so he did his best to hide from God. He was so afraid of being found. He was worried that God would punish him and reject him if he came out of hiding. David was trying to take advantage of his time in hiding to clean himself up and work his way back into good standing with God.
David says his strategy didn’t work at all. He says: “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” Hiding wasn’t working out for David. He felt like he was dying. David decided to implement a new strategy from Wells and Simeon’s book. He says: “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.”
There’s forgiveness, safety and joy in being found. Perhaps you need to learn the same lesson in your own life today. Are you hiding from God out of fear that He will punish you for your disobedience and sin? Are you trying to pick up the pieces of your life and pull it together? If so, stop! Take a lesson from Wells and Simeon. Come out of hiding and make some noise. Pray to God and plead with Him to find you. There’s joy in being found by a God who loves to forgive sinners like you and me.
Come, ye weary, heavy laden, Bruised and broken by the fall; If you tarry ‘til you’re better, You will never come at all. Not the righteous, not the righteous; Sinners Jesus came to call.