I winced and tried to shift my body from its contorted position on the floor behind the recliner. I glanced at my husband and bit my finger to keep from laughing at his similar pretzel-shaped position. He gave me his this-was-your-bright-idea look. I grinned. Then winced again, not just from the awkward positioning, but because I needed to use the bathroom that bad. My legs were going numb and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stand up much less make it to the bathroom in time.
And then I heard them.
My two granddaughters. the take-charge, always-wanting-to-prank-someone youngest, Ophie, and the freckle-faced, equally mischievous older one, Caeris.
They had obviously forgotten that we were in the middle of a team game of Hide-n-Seek. Moments earlier, Grandpa Scott and I found the giggling girls sitting in baskets in the coat closet. and then it was time for the two of us to hide.
“We’ll count to ten,” Ophie had told us. She was always ready to make the rules.
“No fair!” I told her. “We counted to sixty when it was your turn.”
“Yeah, and they are old,” Caeris, the compassionate but truthful child spoke in our defense. (I think.) “We should give them TWO minutes.”
“So you’ll count to sixty two times?” I asked hopefully.
She looked at me like I didn’t quite have all my crayons in the box, and it was definitely one of those boxes without a sharpener. “Or I could just count to one hundred and twenty,” she said.
So off we went, Grandpa and me, while the girls began counting. I eyed the recliner in the corner of the family room with skepticism but shrugged and crawled behind it. The always-ready-for-an-adventure hubs followed suit.
And there we hunched, in pretzel-shaped agony, some seven minutes later when it dawned on me that the girls had forgotten us.
“Matthew!” I whispered to my son who sat on a nearby couch watching a football game. “Will you please go tell them we are ready?” He got up and headed to the grandkids’ room where the girls were supposed to be counting.
“Did you guys forget something?” I heard him ask, followed by silence. “Aren’t you supposed to be looking for Grandma and Grandpa?”
“Oh yeah!” The girls squealed and within moments they were jumping up and down on the sides of the recliner shouting “Found you!” As soon as Scott helped me up, I hobbled off to the bathroom.
I’ve done a lot of hiding in my life.
Mostly these days it is just a fun and competitive game of Hide-and-Seek with the grandkids.
But that is not how it always has been. I’ve had seasons of hiding out of shame, out of fear, and out of avoidance.
Hiding in Shame
When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” Genesis 3:8-10 NLT
There have been seasons when, like Adam and Eve, I hid out of shame. Shame for who I was and things I had done. But not anymore. I long ago learned that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus and that in Christ I am a brand-new creation – the old is gone and the new has come. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17)
Hiding in Fear
…Gideon threshed wheat in the winepress in order to hide it from the Midianites. Judges 6:11b NKJV. In this chapter, we find Gideon hiding because he was afraid of the enemy who came to steal and destroy. For years Gideon and the Israelites had lived in constant fear and dread because of the Midianites and Amalekites who continually destroyed their crops, stole their livestock and ransacked their land. My fear may not have been quite the same, but I have lived in fear of rejection, fear of being known, fear of not measuring up.
But God called out to Gideon and defined who he really was: And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor.” Judges 6:12 NKJV. The Lord reminded Gideon that in His presence he became a mighty man of valor, that fear didn’t win. The same is true for me. Romans 6:10 tells me that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in me…and that, my friends, gives me great courage to do whatever He calls me to do.
Hiding to Avoid
“Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. Jonah 1:2-3 NLT
Most people have heard the story of Jonah, and how he foolishly thought he could avoid what the Lord was calling him to do. I get it. Scripture tells us in Jonah 4:2 that he was running from what the Lord told him to because he knew that if the Ninevites repented, then God – in His merciful and compassionate nature – would forgive them and Jonah didn’t believe they deserved to be forgiven. So he was running away, in hopes of avoiding the whole thing.
My reasons were different, but like Jonah I’m familiar with trying to run away. I have avoided many things because I’m comfortable, I like my joy-filled life, and dislike conflict. But just like Jonah, I’ve learned there is no hiding and there is no running from God. And there is no place I’d rather be than in His will, and in His presence.
I’m trusting that I am walking in obedience by sharing my (first) published book – a very short but vulnerable memoir. Though there are still twinges of fear about sharing my story, I keep telling myself “The Lord is with you, mighty Pygmy of Valor.” 😊
My book can be found at Barnes and Noble online (search Marie Isom) as well as here, on Amazon by searching Marie Isom.
A kindle version should be available soon.
I pray that if you choose to read it, the goodness of God will be the overwhelming message and that it will bless you. And if the Lord lays it on your heart, give it a review on Amazon or elsewhere.
Grateful for this abundant life in Christ,