HIDE & SEEK MOON
The air felt unfamiliar, yet familiar all at once. Being one of the first cold nights of Autumn, the chilly breeze hit my skin with an unexpected fervor that I had not felt in many months due to the unexpectedly pleasant, mild months of September & October. I could have let the puppy out of the door & gone back inside while he attended to his business, but the pull of the glow from luminescent clouds illuminated by a large Harvest moon beckoned me out into the back yard. I did not stop to get a jacket, but stood out on the back steps & looked up, mesmerized by the lacy cloud pattern of dark clouds that were racing overhead.
Not a single blanket of cloud cover, but it appeared as if there were many clouds in a jigsaw puzzle pattern, as if the master Puzzle Solver were up in Heaven slowly piecing together a puzzle. You know what I mean – a half completed jigsaw puzzle often has many holes in it.
There, through that hole the moon peeked out & shone her alabaster face down on the yard before slowly receding behind one of the puzzle piece clouds. The clouds varied in density. You could see the moon as if through gauze as it began to hide beneath another cloud, then POOF! As if by sleight of His majestic hand, it was completely hidden beneath a very dark, dense & brooding cloud. Over & over this scene unfolded in front of me, as I stood rooted in spot, paralyzed by awe at the way the moon was there one minute, gone the next!
I was so enthralled by what I saw that I no longer felt the chill in the night air, though I know that the temperature had not improved at all since I went outside. I could have camped out there all night long, as this was as pretty of a display as I have ever witnessed. As I stood silently before my Maker & His moon, clouds, & the occasional star, I felt so grateful that He would invite me to the show! And front row seats, to boot!
And it hit me then: the Hide & Seek Moon was a little like God Himself. There are times that we can see His Glory faintly, as when the “man-in-the-moon” can be observed during a full moon on a clear night. Then there are times when we can see Him vaguely, as if He is partially hidden beneath a gauzy veil. At other times, we can only see His reflection in others, such as when I could only see the bright “silvery lining” framing the clouds. Yet at still other times, all we can see is darkness – there is no visible sign of our Lord in our lives. Yet in each of these instances, He is there, up above, watching us as He is carefully placing the puzzle pieces of our lives into place in order that we will eventually have a complete & beautiful life.
Why does God play Hide & Seek with us? There are times that He hides so that we will seek Him – He wants to see the joy & pleasure on our faces when He momentarily allows us to see His face, sort of like playing Peek-A-Boo with a toddler. Sometimes, He retreats from us to express His displeasure at our actions. He is still there, yet we are not in communion with Him, as our sins are separating us from His presence. There are times that we are not prepared to behold His glory, such as the way that we cannot look into the sun without protection, & even then, we can never look directly at it. Like a jealous lover, He wants us to chase after Him, & so He will sometimes tease us with a tiny glimpse so that we will wait on Him to appear in all of His splendor. And like any other performer, He Himself takes pleasure in putting on a show.
Whether you like to appear on stage or not, everyone likes applause & recognition, & God is no different. If you are a parent, there may have been times when you showed your child how to do something that they themselves were not yet able to accomplish: giving a speech, woodworking, quilting, magic tricks, telling jokes, shooting hoops, hitting a baseball, or whatever, your child probably watched on in awe, & then clapped with delight – just as I did (REALLY!) at the show He gave me with the moon.
At those times when you feel as if all you can see is darkness, keep looking up, for He WILL show His face again before too long. He will shine His face upon You. He will look at you with kindness again. He is still there, even if He is hidden for a moment. But you do have to seek Him if you want to find Him. Look up! He is always there. Always!!
“How long, oh Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?” ~ Psalm 13:1
“Restore us, oh God of Hosts, cause Your face to shine, & we shall be saved!” ~ Psalm 80:7
“For but a small moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. In a little wrath I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on you, says the Lord, your Redeemer.” ~ Isaiah 54:7,8
~ Lou L. Sams