“I Will Be Found by You”—GodFeb 18, 2018 05:53AM ● By Bonnie Lyn Smith
Did you ever have a moment in middle or high school when you felt like as soon as you entered a conversation, your peers would suddenly have something else to do and become scarce? (Okay, self-reveal: Maybe that was just socially awkward me?)
Maybe you came to pick up your child to leave a playmate’s home only to experience the frustration of him hiding in a closet so he didn’t have to leave.
Ever find your dog, tail-down, hovering in the crate or under the crouch because she had an accident and knows you won’t be pleased?
My daughter has a bunny with the annoying habit of retreating to her hideaway whenever I come in to offer fresh pellets or hay. It’s not very rewarding to have her scamper away at the sight of my presence.
Do you ever feel this way about God? Like you came into the room, so to speak, to ask Him something, but He might be busy listening to someone else or have better things to do?
Be honest with yourself. This is important.
Well, I have felt this way, many times. I have cried out: “So, um, I’m down here, swirling in my little pit, wondering when You are planning on sending that rescue team? Life hurts. Rejection is already awful. Now I have to worry you are leaving me, too?”
“So, I know I'm not in the popular crowd here: not a pastor’s kid or an elder or anything. Not a worship singer. Not the charity overachiever. So maybe you don’t really have time for the likes of me. I didn’t get the special memo, I guess.”
You know why I was wrong?
First, I am placing human attributes on a Holy, perfect God who says He never fails us—so He doesn’t.
Second, we have a tendency to hide because of our sin (Garden of Eden), shame, and nakedness, but God has no sin. And we have no reason to hide anymore if we are truly in-Christ because He clothes us with His righteousness.
Isaiah 61:10, ESV
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
King David, at the end of his life, commanded all the leaders of Israel to seek the LORD as the crown was passing from father (David) to son (Solomon). Why would he do that? Why would that be so important? It was a clear-cut reminder that God can be found.
1 Chronicles 22:17-19, ESV
David also commanded all the leaders of Israel to help Solomon his son, saying, "Is not the LORD your God with you? And has he not given you peace on every side? For he has delivered the inhabitants of the land into my hand, and the land is subdued before the LORD and his people. Now set your mind and heart to seek the LORD your God. Arise and build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the holy vessels of God may be brought into a house built for the name of the LORD” [emphasis mine].
David had a long history with God, both in pleasing Him (praising Him) and in disobedience (Bathsheba). He knew God in the unabashed celebrations of victory with the lyre and harp. In his youth, David hid in caves from the pursuit of the angry, jealous king Saul. He understood God’s presence amidst his shame of poor choices resulting from lust and pride. By the time, as an old man, he was passing the crown to his son, he knew there was no hiding from God because God was always with him.
1 Chronicles 28:9, ESV
"And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever” [emphasis mine].
What did it require, according to King David, for God to be found?
Simply to seek Him.
You see, David knew God doesn’t play hide-and-seek. He doesn’t tease. He doesn’t withhold. He sent His Son—fully God and fully man—to this earth to be the very image of Him in the flesh.
Jeremiah reminds us of God’s promise to us. If we seek Him, He says:
“I will be found by you.”
Jeremiah 29:11-14, ESV
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile” [emphasis mine].
I can’t imagine anything more reassuring than God telling us He is accessible to us. That’s a promise, and God doesn’t break His promises.
Whenever we feel far away from Him, we must remember not to place human attributes on Him. We are the ones who are afraid, at times, to approach Him, but He says: “Come to me.”
Matthew 11:28, ESV
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
See, it’s on us to approach Him, to seek Him, to take Him up on His promises. But if we hide in fear, shame, or independence, we are not fully seeking Him. And if we don’t seek Him with our whole hearts (not just the convenient sections), it may be hard to find Him. He is there, because that’s His promise, but being found is a result of a full seeking—an all-in.
Which piece of your heart is playing hide-and-seek with God today? He promises if you fully give it to Him, He will make Himself known. You can count on it.
“I will be found by you,” declares the LORD.
Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.
She is the author of Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day and the founder and editor-in-chief of Ground Truth Press, a book publishing company.