Of the many games that children play, there are a few old standards that abide from generation to generation.  One of these is hide-and-seek.  Most adults have played it, and I would guess that your children still do.

          There are several reasons, I think, for the enduring popularity of hide-and-seek.  One is that it doesn’t cost any money.  You don’t have to buy it; you just play it.  Another is that it doesn’t require any athletic skills.  Everyone can participate, and boys and girls can play it together.  But I suspect the main reason lies in the fact that the game is somewhat true to life.  In a real sense, we never quit playing it.  As we get older, the rules change; but the basic plot remains the same.  We spend a good part of our lives hiding from and looking for other people.  A little book entitles “Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?” is a brief but insightful account of the ways and reasons we try to conceal our true identities from one another.

          Sometimes we even play this game with God.  There are days when we fool ourselves into believing that we can hide from Him; and there are other days when it seems that He is hiding from us.  All through the Bible, there are testimonies from people who were looking for God and having difficulty finding Him.  I’m sure that we too have those times when Jesus seems so far away and so very hard to find.

          Perhaps when Jesus seems hard to find, it could be that we are looking for Him in the wrong places.  I remember a story about the man who was crawling around on his hands and knees under a streetlight.  A friend came along and asked what he was doing.  He said, “I dropped my ring, and I’m looking for it.”  The friend said, “I’ll help you.  Are you sure you dropped it here?”  “Oh no,” said the man, “I dropped it over there in the yard.”  “Well, why don’t you look for it where you dropped it?”  And the man replied, “I thought of that, but there’s no light over there.” 

          A silly story, but it makes a valid point – we won’t ever find anything unless we look for it in the right places. 

          Do you suppose that could be a part of our problem?  Does Jesus sometimes seem hidden from us because we look for Him in the wrong places?  Among the elite instead of the lowly?  Up there instead of down here? 

          If you and I find Him in a meaningful way, it will not be up among the stars, or back in history, or out in the future, but in the ordinary events of life.  In the days of His earthly flesh, we might have found Him in the temple teaching the word of God.  But we could also have found Him at a wedding helping an embarrassed host, in Bethany having dinner with His friends, or a hillside admiring the wildflowers, by the seashore talking with some fishermen, at a graveside weeping with a heartbroken family.

          Jesus was very much a part of the everyday lives of people.  Why should we suppose that he would be any different today?  So let us come out of our castles, down from our ivory towers, and start really searching for Him in the ordinary events of life.  If he seems hard to find, it could be that we are looking for Him in the wrong places.