A Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) appears to play hide-and-seek in a nest cavity. March 31, 2017; Walton County, Georgia.
[Originally published as Hide and Seek]
Have you ever shouted to God, “COME OUT, COME OUT WHEREVER YOU ARE!”?
Neither will I hide my face any more from them… Ezekiel 39:29
Birding can sometimes feel like a game of hide-and-seek. The birds have the “hide” part down pat! They are masters of camouflage and stealth and seem to know the cleverest places to hide. So the birders must play the “seek” side of the game.
We maximize our chances of finding particular bird species by learning where they live—their range and habitat within the range—and going where the birds are!
There are times it seems like God is playing hide-and-seek with us.
Our theology says God is omnipresent, but our feelings say he has hidden himself and is nowhere to be found. Like Martha and Mary when their brother Lazarus passed away, we blame God for being absent when crisis and need hits—“Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” (John 11:21).
But have you thought that maybe God isn’t hiding, and perhaps the problem is with our seeking? Jesus was quite willing to commune with those who desired his company. When two disciples asked, “Where dwellest thou?” Jesus offered the open invitation to come and see (John 1:38). Since the Bible promises us that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6), perhaps our seeking isn’t as diligent as we thought.
God is not hiding. He can be seen in the design, order, and complexity of nature around us… especially the birds!
And just like a birder searching for a bird in its range and habitat, we maximize our chances by seeking God in the right places.
Where does God “hide”?
Maybe he is “hidden” in that Bible on your bookshelf?
Or perhaps He can be found in that church down the road?
One thing is certain: if you are honest and diligent, he will be found!
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. Deuteronomy 30:11-14