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Behind Fig Leaves: When We Play Hide-and-Seek with God

April 25, 2017 0 Comments

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” – Genesis 3:6-9 (NIV)

Have you ever played hide-and-seek with a two year old? You tell them to go and hide while you close your eyes and count to ten. Once you’ve finished counting, you turn around to find the child standing right behind you. Their little hands covering their eyes. They can’t see you, and so they assume that you can’t see them. You don’t want to spoil their fun, so you pretend that they’re not hiding in plain sight as you walk around the room, searching and calling out their name. Eventually, you walk over to the child, tap them on the shoulder and say, “I found you”.

The Introduction of Vulnerability

In Genesis chapter three, we see a similar game of hide-and-seek. After having been tempted by the enemy and falling into sin, Adam and Eve become aware of the fact that they are naked and make coverings for themselves out of fig leaves. The moment they realize that they’re exposed, vulnerability enters into the world. Their first instinct is to hide from God in the garden. Just like the two year old, they hide in plain sight; oblivious to the fact that the Creator of the universe knows and sees all things. Though, I love the Lord’s response. For a few minutes He indulges in their game and calls out “where are you”, even though He already knows the answer.

Playing the Same Game

Isn’t it funny that though thousands of years have passed since this moment we still find ourselves playing the same game? The moment we become conscious of our mistakes, we find ourselves in a place of vulnerability, completely exposed and so we cover up. We continue to go to church every week and serve just to keep up appearances when really we’re filled with doubt. And if we’re honest, we haven’t picked up the Bible or prayed in months. Putting on brave faces and making up stories about how great our weeks have been when truthfully, we’re hurting. We take our brokenness and cover it with fig leaves just as Adam and Eve did before us. Though this facade may be enough to fool some, there is no fooling God.

He sees past the fig leaves and isn’t afraid of our mess. In fact, despite our many shortcomings He loves us; brokenness and all! My prayer is that we’ll outgrow this hiding game as we come to understand that there is nothing we can do that will ever stop God from loving us. He’ll let us play this game for a while but it can’t last forever.

The best part of hide-and-seek is that no matter how long it takes, it always ends the same way. He’s just waiting for us to want to be found.

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