“But they didn’t know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.” Luke 24:16 NLT Hiding appears to be a normal part of life. Perhaps, it’s a part of that sinful bent all people are born with. After all, hiding is the first thing Adam and Eve did after disobeying God.
I too am familiar with hiding. Apart from the normal game of hide-n-seek, my cousin and I often invented other hiding games. We invented imaginary giants to hide from in my grandfather’s barns. If we chose to play cowboys and Indians, one group would hide.
The hog pens also provided ample opportunity for hiding. Amidst the mud were areas of broom straw taller than us. We enjoyed aggravating the hogs, so after doing so-knowing our grandmother would soon appear and scold us, we’d duck between the straw.
Jesus once hid Himself from two of his followers walking the Emmaus road. They saw Him, but they didn’t recognize Him. Jesus feigned ignorance about what had happened to Him, so the two informed Him about the death and reported resurrection. As He sat to eat with them, their eyes were opened. They recognized who He was.
Sin leads to hiding. God has created in us the ability to know right from wrong. Though we do wrong from an early age, there comes a point when we recognize wrong. Thereafter, a failure to admit the wrong makes us want to hide like our first parents.
God can hide from us in an attempt to stretch our faith. Though there, He makes His presence less prominent. His desire is that we stretch for Him, realize our need for Him, and grow our faith to a deeper degree.
When God hides, it tests our resolve. His apparent absence leads us to consider the seriousness of our love and service for Him as well as our sincerity about whatever task we’ve undertaken.
Times of absence may also signal God is busy preparing circumstances-or even us, for another area of service. Moses experienced God hiding while living on the back side of the desert, Elijah while hiding in a cave, and Joseph while languishing in a foreign country.
God never truly hides, but when it seems He has, self-examine to see what He’s up to.
Martin Wiles Hodges, South Carolina, USA