The infant giggle of my eight-month-old granddaughter, Lily, melts my heart and I play the hiding game again. Popping just out of sight behind a newspaper, then popping back into her line of vision, her giggle erupts again and again.
To some it’s just a cute baby game, but in reality, it’s an important developmental milestone for an infant called object permanence – the idea that even though they can’t see an object, it’s still there. It’s a basic building block of memory and trust for a child to learn that even if mommy goes out of the room, she’ll be back.
New Christians (and even some of us older ones!) go through a similar stage in our spiritual development as we learn to trust our heavenly Father. It’s that feeling we get when we pray and our prayers don’t seem to be reaching him. Or when we’re going through a difficult experience and we lose sight of him in the crisis. We feel like God’s just not there, even though his word assures us of his constant vigilant presence.
But it also works another way – when we try to hide secret thoughts, actions or attitudes from our heavenly Father. We seem to think that because we don’t voice those thoughts, burying them in the depths of our hearts, that God can’t see them and he’ll forget they’re present in our lives.
Silly us! Not only is God always watching, his light illuminates the darkest parts of our hidden hearts, exposing the very things we seek to hide from him because of shame or fear of retribution.
Father, help me to live secure in the knowledge that you are always there and strengthen my trust muscles so that I can live openly and honestly before you, without covering up. Amen.