Hiding is a normal part of life.
I am familiar with hiding. Apart from the normal game of hide-n-seek, my cousin and I often invented other hiding games. We invented imaginary giants to hide from in my grandfather’s barns. If we chose to play cowboys and Indians, one group would hide.
The hog pens also provided many opportunities for hiding. Amidst the mud lay areas of broom straw taller than us. We enjoyed aggravating the hogs. After doing so—since we knew our grandmother would soon appear and scold us—we ducked between the straw.
Hiding began when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and thought they could hide their sin. And it’s been happening since that time because we’re born with a sinful bent that leads us to disobedience. When we disobey, we attempt the same thing as our first parents.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.~Genesis 3:8 NIV
Jesus once hid from two of His followers who were walking the Emmaus Road.
But they didn’t know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.~Luke 24:16 NLT
They saw Him, but they didn’t recognize Him. Jesus feigned ignorance about what had happened to Him, so the two informed Him about the death and reported resurrection. As He ate with them, their eyes were opened. They recognized who He was.
God has created in us the ability to know right from wrong. Although we do wrong from an early age, we reach a point when we recognize wrong. Thereafter, our failure to admit the wrong makes us want to hide like our first parents.
But God can also hide from us—perhaps to stretch our faith. He’s there, but He makes His presence less prominent. He wants us to stretch for Him, to realize our need for Him, and to let our faith deepen.
When God hides, He tests our resolve. His apparent absence leads us to consider the seriousness of our love and service for Him as well as our sincerity about whatever task we’ve undertaken.
Times of absence may also signal God is busy preparing circumstances—or even us—for something different or better. God hid from Moses while he lived on the backside of the desert tending sheep. He hid from Elijah while he hid in a cave, and he hid from Joseph while Joseph languished in a foreign country.
But God never truly hides; it only seems that way. In those times, we need to pause, trust, pray, and ask what He’s up to.
Describe a time when you felt God was hiding. Did this situation lead to a blessing?
Father God, in times when it appears You have left me, guide me to seek You more than ever so I can discover what You’re up to.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2022: When God Hides: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved