Being a father of three daughters, you have to realize that I have played games that might make some other dads cringe. Dress up is always a favorite with my girls. At any given moment, you could stop by my house and find me dressed in some pink or purple tutu looking thing with a purple wig, fairy wings and if I’m lucky, a tiara! Oh and there’s usually some costume jewelry around my neck.
Other times it’s something called Poof Poof Salon. Oh, this one is real interesting! I can get my nails and makeup done, get a clean shave (with a plastic knife of course), and a hair wash and style. I can come out of one of these looking even stranger than dress up.
Nicky has been forbidden to get a camera out when these two games are in play! That’s just what I need, Randy Diller in drag all over Facebook! That would be fantastic! (insert sarcasm here)
But one of the games we play (and is a personal favorite) is hide and seek. We live in a small house and you’d be surprised at how creative we can all be at coming up with new places and ways to hide from each other. I’ve found myself dressed up, in drag, hiding with the rest of the dolls and dress up clothes in the toy room and have the girls walk right by me and NEVER see me!
I remember a time that we were playing hide and seek when it was just Jalynn and Madylynn. They were both pretty young and easy to hide from. But for whatever reason, they couldn’t find me. They thought that they saw me, then they didn’t, then they thought they saw me again. I was hiding in the bay window with the curtains closed to obscure me from their sight. It was dark outside too so it made it more of a challenge and was why they thought they saw me, but then didn’t, and then they did again. They just weren’t sure!
This went on for probably 20 minutes and finally Jalynn started to cry and Madylynn soon after her. They began to feel insecure. They looked everywhere for their Daddy and couldn’t find me. Even when they looked right at me, they weren’t sure. Fear and insecurity followed.
On an adult level, insecurity is a struggle for me. It is too easy for me to link my contentment, happiness, and being accepted to earthly circumstances and people. As people show approval of me, my overall happiness and contentment rises. Circumstances becoming favorable to me elicits the same response.
This becomes a stumbling block. Earthly circumstances and people’s approval change about as often as my daughters change my outfit during dress up or Poof Poof Salon! I end up tossed back and forth as I stumble along in my walk. All it takes is one word of discouragement to trip me off course and set me back or a circumstance that troubles me and absorbs all my thoughts like sponge that’s always dry!
I don’t think Jesus played hide and seek with his disciples, but there is a passage that says…
John 16:16 “A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me.”
This wasn’t hide and seek and certainly wasn’t a riddle. Jesus was referring to the cross, tomb and His victory over the grave. In a little while they wouldn’t see Him, then they would see Him at resurrection. Then they wouldn’t again when He ascended, but they would see Him yet again in the form of the parakletos – the one assigned to come alongside us – the Holy Spirit. It would be His Spirit that they would see with the eyes of their hearts. This had to confuse the disciples and cause them to question what Jesus was talking about.
I’m sure the disciples began to feel insecure. I mean think about it – These guys have given up everything to follow this man. Whatever business they were in, however they made a living, they walked away from it all to follow Jesus. They invested everything into the hope of Jesus – they believed that He is who He says He is and that He would do what He said He would do.
Hmm…Kinda sounds like a good definition to faith – Believing that God is who He says He is and He will always do what He says He will do.
Back to Jesus. He’s just announced to them that He will be taking a sabbatical and they don’t understand. They can’t see the cross and the grave on the horizon as Jesus can. They won’t understand until after Jesus finishes the work He was sent for. But I think that’s part of the point, at least for me anyway. I want to understand everything! Why does this happen? Why did you let that happen? Why am I going through this? Why did this turn out this way? Why did this person say this? And on and on and on the questions go…
I’m not quite convinced that it’s sinful to ask questions until you start doubting God (thanks Monica Johnson!). I think God expects questions. I mean He’s God for crying’ out loud – He knows everything! But too many questions for me allows insecurity to creep in. I want to be completely secure in who I am in Christ. I want to be so confident that I don’t doubt why I’m here and what I’m doing. I want to move forward confidently and securely in Christ. People or circumstances will leave me on shifting sand. But on Christ the solid rock I can stand.
I think there’s an illusion that I dive for. Like a mirage in the desert fools you when your thirsty, so this illusion causes me to dive into the sand when I think I’m diving into a pool of water. It’s the illusion that I somehow deserve a life free of difficulties. I long for resolution. But I have to remind myself that Jesus said very plainly…
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation…
“…so that in Me you may have” what? Peace. Just needed to restate that one for myself.
In this world, Jesus says, we will have tribulation. Tribulation is a word that encompasses pressure, compression, affliction, distress, trials, difficulties, and troubles. Jesus didn’t have to declare it in order for us to plainly see and feel this truth. But He did. It puts weight behind His next statement to us
John 16:33 …but take courage; I have overcome the world.
Jesus has overcome. This is a neat word that I geek out about! It means to overwhelmingly conquer, to vanquish, to subdue. It is a smashing defeat!!! That gives me glory bumps all over!!! (not goose bumps – glory bumps!)
Any difficulty, any harsh word, any less than ideal circumstance, all fall harmlessly because of Christ’s victory! In that I am secure!
My efforts to resolve all of my difficulties will always leave me tired and restless and lead me to insecurity. It is a pursuit that will end in disappointment as the next difficulty rounds the horizon. Instead of wasting precious time and energy on a fruitless pursuit, why not pursue something that produces fruit? Why not focus on pouring time and energy into pursuing Christ? His presence is the one thing that chases away insecurity. His presence alone allows me to see clearly the smashing victory I am privileged to live each day.
A conscious choice to dwell on His presence by making it a focal point brings a security that nothing will shake…Including a picture taken during a game of Poof Poof Salon!