A pastor phoned the home of some recent visitors to the church. A voice on the other end of the phone answered with a whispered "Hello."
The pastor asked, "Who is this?."
The whispered voice said, "Jimmy."
The pastor asked, "How old are you, Jimmy?"
The voice said, "Four."
The pastor then asked, "Jimmy, can I please speak to your mom?"
Jimmy answered, "She's busy."
"Then can I please speak to your dad?"
"Are there any other adults in your home?"
"Then let me speak to one of the police officers."
"Jimmy, who else is there?"
"Well, can you put one of the firemen on the phone?"
"Jimmy, what are they all busy doing?"
"They're all busy looking for me!"
Just like Jimmy, a lot of people are hiding. They're hiding from parents and police; they're hiding from bosses and spouses; they're hiding from teachers and coaches. And sometimes, maybe even most of the time, they're hiding from God. But why do we hide in life, especially from God?
One of the major reasons we hide is because we've done something wrong. A few months ago, I was driving on a main thoroughfare not far from where I live when I got pulled over for speeding. As I waited for the officer to approach my car, I dutiful got out my license, registration and proof of insurance, but what I really wanted to do was floor the accelerator, get away and hide! I think my emotional response was pretty natural because that's what human beings have been doing since the dawn of time, especially with God. We've been trying to get away -- trying to hide from Him because we know that we've done something wrong.
In the Garden of Eden, everything was originally perfect, and Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. There was full knowing, full disclosure and complete intimacy. There was absolutely no concept of "Hiding"! But with the entrance of sin, that all changed. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, He came looking for them and called out to them: "Where are you?" And Adam whispered "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid, and so I hid."
Sin and hiding are inseparable -- they're the fraternal twins of the Fall of humanity. That's my story and that's your story. At some point in life we've all run away from God and tried to hide from Him because we know that we've sinned. But God does not want us to continue hiding from Him because of our sin. Although we may be on the run He's on the chase. And while we may be hiding He is seeking us out. One of the greatest examples of this in the entire Bible comes in the story of Jesus and His encounter with a fascinating little man named Zacchaeus in Luke 19
.I. Jesus has come to find us (Luke 19:1-5)
Luke tells us that as Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem He was passing through the city of Jericho. And as He does so, a very rich tax-collector who lived there named Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was (Luke 19:1-2