One of my favorite games to play as a child was “Hide and Go Seek.” The very act of playing the game meant that I wasn’t alone because it’s not a one-person game. As an only child, I learned to play a lot of one-person games.
The thing about “Hide and Go Seek” was that, even if I was only playing with one other person, there was another person. Even if they were hiding in the very best hiding spot, even if it took me a really long time to find them, there was another person in the game with me.
So often, when we face trials in this life, we feel like we are playing a one-person game; like we are all alone. The truth is there are very few new experiences on this planet; very few roads that have never been walked before.
Grief often feels so isolating. We enter in feeling like no one could have ever felt a pain like this one and we will never be able to find our way out. And while it’s true that grief is unique for all of us, it’s also the same, and we never have to walk through it alone.
There is so much grief swirling around right now. There is my own grief, grief that belongs to my friends, grief that belongs to our country, grief that belongs to the world. And in the midst of grieving, it’s easy to wonder where God is hiding.
Does God hide? I don’t think so. If he did, that would mean we could be separated from him. I know that there are times when I feel like God is far away from me and I can’t find him. But when I call out, he’s always right there. I can get so wrapped up in my own head, my own fears, and my own grief that I start to hide from God’s truth.
Even then, my hiding from God is like when my kids would hide from me when they were little. They, too, loved to play “Hide and Go Seek.” They would hide behind the sofa and their little legs would stick out the backside. Or they would hide behind the drapes and I could see their tiny feet. I always knew where they were. So when I am tempted to think God is hiding from me, I have to remind myself of the truth of Romans 8:35 – 39.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[a]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation.
Sometimes we walk through valleys and we question why God would ever allow us to experience such a dark place or why he would take us down a path that seems so out of the way. We could never fathom the places God wants to take us. God’s plans for us are so much greater than we could ever imagine for ourselves. So when God walks us down a road we’ve never seen before, we can rest assured that he knows exactly where we are going. And when the road seems longer than it should be, we can trust that God wants us to learn as much as we can along that road.
God’s grace is all I need when life feels bigger than I can handle. When I am at my weakest, when I am sad, when I can’t see a way out, it is God’s power that carries me through the darkness. I can try to comfort myself. I can try to find my own way out. But I can only be saved when I release myself into God’s care. I can trust that on my hardest days, in the middle of my trying times, wrapped in my own weaknesses is when God’s strength is revealed.