I’ve always loved playing hide and seek.
But I hated those times when I would wait for what felt like an eternity and no one would come search for me because they gave up.
Because hiding was fun, but the true joy was being found.
And recently, I’ve noticed that my walk with the Lord is the same way.
I rebelled and ran away from Him for years on end, until He took away every other source of comfort so that He alone could have my heart’s full attention and affection, and then I was His forever.
Because that’s the thing about God. When you’re running, He’s in hot pursuit of you. And He will take you down.
And praise Him that His pursuit of our hearts is always greater than our ability to wander.
But even now, I find that I get far too comfortable thinking that I am good enough and forgetting how desperately I need Him…and then a few weeks ago Abba whispered this sweet truth into my heart:
Even your best efforts are tainted by sin. Stop trying so hard to be good. Rest in my goodness. Don’t keep trying to please everyone. I am well pleased with you.
And even now, I run away from my First Love to false lovers that I convince myself will satisfy, but they don’t for a moment.
Affirmation on social media.
Attention from boys.
Whatever it may be, this is the truth: They. Don’t. Satisfy. And they never will.
That ache you feel, the emptiness inside that never fades, is there because the Lord God created you for Himself and when we run to other things we are not getting what we truly need. Like air. He is our oxygen.
And He is beckoning us back to Him . . .
“Come, let us RETURN to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up; that we may live before Him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is as sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”
Can you hear it now? It has always been there. His tender whisper over your heart, calling you back to Him.
He is seeking you out, all so that you will, in turn, seek Him.
Because He longs for this intimacy with you, and it is what you were created for.
Anything less than this will simply never do, because there is a Jesus-shaped hole in your heart.
John Eldredge says this,
“I am convinced beyond a doubt of this: God wants to be loved. He wants to be a priority to someone. How could we have missed this? From cover to cover, from beginning to end, the cry of God’s heart is, “Why won’t you choose Me?” It is amazing to me how humble, how vulnerable God is on this point. “You will . . . find me,” says the Lord, “when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13). In other words, “Look for me, pursue me — I want you to pursue me.” Amazing. As Tozer says, “God waits to be wanted.”
Here is the good news that has ravished my heart: Because He so jealously longs for us and so passionately loves us, we can turn back. This is the Gospel: We are never too far gone for grace.
So we can be zealous and eager to turn back to Him in our rebellion because we know that the cost of repentance is swallowed up in the joy of His forgiveness.
Repent. Return. Refresh.
“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning…” Joel 2:12
Stop hiding, friend.
What are you waiting for?
You can’t be found out when you are already found in Jesus.
There is inconceivable joy in having the darkest parts of our hearts uncovered by our merciful Father. He knows all that you are, all that you have done, and all that you will do, and yet, you are so unbelievably loved.