When my boys were little we used to play hide and seek. They loved to run and hide and then the search was on. Sometimes they found a great hiding spot, but usually I found them so easily that I pretended that I didn’t, to make it more fun for them. Sometimes we deceive ourselves into thinking that we can run away or hide from God. Jacob fled his brother Esau’s anger at the deception that caused Isaac to give Jacob the blessing meant for Esau. Jacob was broken and at a low point but God pursued him and stopped him in his tracks with a dream that changed everything for him. (Genesis 28:10-22)
Moses struggled to believe he could deliver his people from Egypt after murdering an Egyptian and being rejected by his Hebrew brothers. Then he ran into the wilderness until the time when the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush. Instead of doing what God said, Jonah got aboard a ship and went in the opposite direction (Jonah 1:3). He was running away from God’s will. Jonah’s running from God was a result of reluctance to do what God commanded. David was known as a man after God’s own heart, yet David was no stranger to wrestling with his faith. The book of Psalms is full of his questioning and pain, as well as his victories.
Each story is an example of God pursuing and working through the struggles and bad choices made by these men God loved. He was merciful and had a purpose for their lives in His bigger plan. They faced consequences but God never gave up on them. Our loving, pursuing, relentless God does not turn his back on us when we struggle in our faith or are disobedient. His mercy is far beyond our understanding, and we don’t always think we deserve it. We are mad at ourselves, so assume He must be too.
C.S. Lewis said “Pain is one of the things that can prevent us from seeing God, it’s also the ‘bullhorn’ God uses to rouse a deaf world.” We can run but we can’t hide from our heavenly Father.
Let’s close with Psalm 139:7-12 as our prayer today:
“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” (Psalm 139:7-12)