“Come out of hiding, you’re safe here with me. There’s no need to cover what I already see. You’ve got your reasons, but I hold your peace. You’ve been on lock down, and I hold the key. Cause I loved you before you knew it was love. And I saw it all, still I chose the cross. And you were the one I was thinking of when I rose from the grave. Now rid of your shackles, my victory’s yours. I tore the veil for you to come close. There’s no reason to stand at a distance anymore. You’re not far from home.” -Steffany Gretzinger, “Out of Hiding”
The first time I heard this song it made me cry. Something about these lyrics resonated so deeply with me. I often find myself living in hiding. Sometimes I hide from people, afraid to be vulnerable and open about the things in my life that are less than desirable. Sometimes I hide from myself. I pretend like things are better than they are so that I don’t have to deal with the messy and broken parts of my life. And sometimes I even try to hide from God. I allow myself to get caught up in busyness and distraction, pretending like I don’t need God and that I can manage life on my own.
I think that a natural part of being human is to live in hiding. Our inclination to cover ourselves and self-protect goes back to the garden of Eden. When sin entered the world, Adam and Eve immediately hid from God. They were ashamed of their nakedness and they questioned if God really loved them. In my opinion, shame is what causes us to live in hiding. Only God’s unconditional, gracious love has the power to bring us out of hiding.
Lately, I’ve been deeply struck by the way God lovingly pursues people in hiding. He sought out Adam and Eve in the garden and graciously provided clothes for them to wear. He never gave up on the people of Israel even though their hearts were so fickle and they repeatedly turned to other gods. When he came to earth, he regularly sought out lepers, prostitutes, and tax collectors- the people that were despised and shamed by society. He is the Father who runs out to meet the prodigal son when he is still far off in the distance. He is the Shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to find the one that is lost.
I’m realizing that God dearly loves me even when I’m living in hiding. He doesn’t want me to stay there. But He loves me unconditionally right where I’m at.
And He will never stop pursuing me.