Listing By Titles Old Testament References New Testament References
Cross Symbol

Seeking the One Who Frees

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

"Here I come! Ready or not, shall be caught!" Thus begins the children's game, "Hide and Seek." I called it "Hide-Go-Seek." My neighborhood playmates and I would gather in a street with not much traffic. One of us was designated as "IT", who, with face covered, counted to 100, giving time for playmates to scatter and hide within boundaries.

"IT" would try to discover the playmates' hiding places, calling each of us out by name when found, tagging them and returning back to Home Base. The "Caught" playmate was "jailed" in an allotted space. When "IT" gave up looking for everyone else, he would call, "Ally, ally, outs in free!" Or, as I remember saying, "Olly, olly ox-in-free! Come out, come out wherever you may be!" Exposing themselves from hiding, all the kids then would scamper out to reach Home Base. If one reached Home Base before "IT" returned, all "jailed" captives were released!

This childhood game reminds me of our ancestors, Adam and Eve. Because of their disobedience, they were removed from God's constant loving presence and placed outside the idyllic Garden of Eden, "jailed" until Jesus came to rescue them, other repentant Old Testament saints and us, too, covering all sins with His own atoning death.

"And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, 'Where are you?'" (Genesis 3:8, 9)

How sad God must feel when we turn our backs on the One who made us in secret and saw our substance when we were yet to be formed! Who would want to hide from His presence? Truthfully, none except that one who is hiding something in himself.

We can try to hide ourselves from God, but He always knows just where we are!

The psalmist, David, shows us how God knows everything about us! "O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways." (Psalm 139:1-3)

"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, 'Surely the darkness shall fall on me,' even the night shall be light about me; indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You." (Psalm 139:7-12)

As Advent time draws near when we again celebrate the coming of God to earth, the Messiah, born as a baby, God in human flesh, Emmanuel, (God with us), the season known as Christmas, let us approach anew, as if it were for the first time, waiting for that glorious day of His birth when all Heaven and earth rejoices!

Just as in our childhood game, "IT" loudly announces to the hidden and jailed ones, "Come out, come out, wherever you are!" So Jesus announces His intent at resurrection to set us free, not only from captivity held by death's grip, but also freed from circumstances requiring His intervention for present needs.
"You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the LORD God might dwell there." (Psalms 68:18 and Ephesians 4:8)

He came to us and now we yearn for that closeness with Him. "For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish; You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry. But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works." (Psalm 73:27, 28)

I will yet cling to the promise of His word, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8)

More than ever, in seeing signs of evil in these disturbing times and wondering what this world is coming to, turn away from these and turn to the One who is able to bring us into the only hope there is! Wait, watch, anticipate....then celebrate His glorious presence!

 Archive Page
© Constance Vanides