During the long, hot summer months in Phoenix, if you don’t have a swimming pool in your backyard, you have to get creative when thinking of ways to occupy your kids as they’re cooped up in the house. One such pastime that I play with my young boys is hide-and-seek. Now granted, our home is about 2,000 square feet and has a pretty open floor plan, so there are only so many places to hide, but it usually keeps us busy for at least a half hour and the kids love it.
On one occasion when my wife was out of the house, the boys and I began a game of hide-and-seek. They usually count together while I go hide and when I’m found, I count while they inevitably hide together. During one of my turns to hide, I quickly and gingerly climbed up on the top bunk of their bed set and covered myself with as many stuffed animals and blankets as possible to conceal my whereabouts.
I soon heard the boys calling for me while running through the house trying to find me. Sometimes when I’ve hidden myself well, I’ll help them out by giving a short, sharp whistle and after a couple minutes of searching, Benjamin was calling for me to do so. However, this time I decided they were going to have to find me on their own.
Maybe another minute went by, which must have seemed like an eternity to my boys, because suddenly I heard them running through the house screaming and panic-stricken. I immediately called to them from their room and they came running in, tears streaming down their faces, as they slowly backed away from the precipice of uncontrolled fear.
I asked them what was wrong. They exclaimed that they thought I had left them because they couldn’t find me. My supposed absence quickly drove them to hysteria.
The funny thing is that nothing really changes as we become adults. We grow up and pretend that we’ve got it all together, that we’re self-sufficient; but after salvation in Christ, we realize how much we need our heavenly father and how dependent we really are. Many times, when He feels far off or we’re experiencing some difficult providence, we begin to anxiously cry out for Him just like children. We panic just like my kids did. However, as Christians, this should not be so. We must strive to remember His Word, His character, and His love for us.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
Just as I was only hiding in the next room when my boys were driven to panic, God is never far off. In fact, He promises that He is with us (present tense) so we need not panic ourselves. If we give into our fear, we distrust our heavenly father and cast a shadow on His character. Instead, we should remember His perfect love for us, which casts out fear (1 John 4:18), and that He has promised that if we diligently seek Him, we will find Him (Prov.8:17). May God give us the grace to seek Him diligently so that we may cast out fear in our homes.