Stop. Breathe in and out. Narrow your focus.

For a few moments, take in only what is in front of you.

Let your ears be open to the whisper of the Spirit.

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And yes, you want truth in the most hidden places; you teach me wisdom in the most secret space. Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and celebration again; let the bones you crushed rejoice once more. Hide your face from my sins; wipe away all my guilty deeds! Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me! Please don’t throw me out of your presence; please don’t take your holy spirit away from me. Return the joy of your salvation to me and sustain me with a willing spirit.

Psalm 51:6-12

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Hide and seek is a game that children play, but as we get older, we have more ways to hide. Sometimes we act like Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden – as if we could get away from God’s sharp eyes. When we sin, we tuck the knowledge away deep inside ourselves and try to ignore it. But God can still see, and so can we.

It is fruitless to hide from God, and it is harmful to hide from ourselves. Our disobedience is always found out. Sometimes our parents, our teachers, or our friends discover what we have done. But even when they do not, we know it, and it usually comes back to us in guilt or shame. It is hard to live with joy when we are carrying those things around.

We can cry out to God, because God wants to give that joy back to us.

Ellen Di Giosia

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God, I know that it never works to hide from you. Give me courage to show you the things that are deep inside of me and to trust your promise to give me a new heart. Amen.

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Now widen your focus.

Let your eyes be open to the whole wide world.

Remember that God’s call to obey is intended for your good.

Ellen Di Giosia

Ellen Di Giosia is the pastor of First Baptist Church of Jefferson City, Tennessee. She is a parent, a spouse, a knitter, a napper, and a proud ex-resident of the great state of Texas.

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Ken Medema

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