Hiding. Before I go further, I would like to explore the word ‘hiding’ and some of its meanings. Cover, conceal, out of sight, secret place, are some of the words used to describe ‘hiding’. You could also think of rats that have a hiding place in your home and when it is dark and quiet, they come out of their hiding. Hiding describes a place we go to take cover, stay out of sight or conceal ourselves when we have been slapped by pain, betrayal, offence, or hurt. It’s a place of ‘comfort’ or safety that we stay put in order to escape the cruel or harsh realities of life. It is just so much better and easier to go into hiding and stay there than to face the music of the person or situation that caused us pain.
When unexpected circumstances hit us, we want to pack up and leave town or just run away from it all so we can cocoon ourselves in a place of darkness and pray no one notices. We don’t want the light to shine on us because when our pain is exposed, we feel naked and raw, unworthy and low. We want to quit everything and just stop doing what is in our hand because we don’t see the point anymore. We have tried and only failed. We have given voluntarily but only been robbed again and again. We have believed but only to have been betrayed again. We put ourselves together yet find ourselves broken again. How many times? We ask ourselves this question over and over and it just doesn’t seem to end. When is it all going to end? When will things change? Will it ever change? Questions after questions yet there seem to be no answers coming. Even heaven is silent.
I am reminded of such a person and circumstance in the Bible whose name was Joseph. He found himself as the apple of his father’s eye, the favourite, the favoured one, he even had a special robe put on by his dad when he was a kid, a symbolic prophecy that would later find him in the same place where his heavenly Father would put a robe of influence on him as he stepped up to become the Prime Minister. But that journey was not easy and short. It was a long and difficult road. He was hated, betrayed, lied to and cheated by his own family members. His purpose and potential for greatness was being limited by his own brothers as they sought to put him down for good. Have you been in a place like this?
Then he finds himself in a place of accusation. He was wrongly accused for something he did not do. He was called a liar for speaking the truth. He was stripped of his position and put in prison. The very person who appointed him to a place of leadership demoted him to a place of misery. He lost the trust of his friends. In prison, he still tried his best to keep a level head and positive attitude by being an example to the rest of the inmates and only asked to be remembered when his friends got out of prison but only to be forgotten. Now all hope, if there was a tiny fraction of it before, seem to have left him. His life just got from bad to worse. From being hated, scorned at, lied to, cheated, sold to slavery, he endured the worst. I can’t even imagine such a situation where the tiniest hope you had is taken away from you. What do you do?
Sometimes when hiding is all we want to do, God has His own ways and gently leads us out of hiding. Oh but wait, isn’t it going to hurt our eyes to see the light again after being so accustomed in the cocoon of hiding? Yes, it will require humility and not running away. I remember Peter, when he made a mistake and wanted to stay in hiding, Jesus gently led him to come out and face the very people, in the same town that he made a mistake in and it required humility on his part. It required an openness that says hey, I’m not perfect, I made a mistake but I am not going to cry some self-pity tears. Yes, I’ve been offended and betrayed and I’ve run into a hiding place but I’m not going to stay there forever, I’m going to allow Jesus to gently lead me out of hiding into His marvellous light. It may take a while for me to see clearly as I have not seen light for some time but I’m ready now, I’m ready to come out of hiding. I’m ready to let the light shine so that my pain, offence, betrayal, mistakes, whatever they may be, can be exposed for healing and restoration. I’m ready for my miracle. I’m ready for my robe. I’m ready for the palace. There is no healing without the exposure of the pain. There is no miracle without the journey of the suffering. After all, we would not even understand what victory looks like if we didn’t experience defeat in the same place. your mistake is not the end. Your pain is not your future. Your hiding is not the answer.
I know that in my own life, when I chose to come out of hiding and start all over again, despite what I was feeling, God never led me to disappointment. He led me to healing and wholeness. He led me to my purpose. He is still leading me, step by step, as I walk in obedience to Him. Come on girls, you can come out now. Slowly, gently, let Jesus bring you out of hiding and let Him shine His light on you and make you whole again.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”
1 Peter 2: 9 (NKJV)