Kick the Can



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As a little girl, a highlight of the summer was attending a family gathering where I would see many of my cousins. Invariably we would play some version of Kick the Can or Hide and Seek. One of us would be “it” and the rest of us would scatter to the winds of whosever farm we were on. I felt like I never knew the best places to hide. The “it” would often find me rather quickly and I would come out from where I had hidden and have to stand in the circle, close to the can hoping to be rescued. Sometimes another cousin would dash from their spot and kick the can as far out of the circle as possible. We were then rescued back into the game. New spots to hide were found. We lived in the hope that the “its” back would be turned and we would not be spotted.

Sometimes I play Kick the Can with God. I choose a spot to hide. I don’t want to be found by Him, I don’t want to be known by Him. I think that if I hide long enough He will forget about whatever it is that I don’t want remembered.

But my God is the God who finds me. To be honest, it is a figment of my imagination that I can hide from Him in the first place. If He has had His eye on me since He formed me (Psalm 139:13), then why do I think it is possible to hide from Him?

My God is also the God who pursues me. He has loved me and will always love me with an everlasting love that defies my understanding. (Jeremiah 31:3b) He desires the intimacy of close fellowship and relationship. He has promised to be a husband to the husbandless. (Isaiah 54:5) He is the Father who comes running, ignoring the disgrace in His rush. He is the One who tucks His robe into His belt, hastening to welcome the lost one home before someone else can call down judgement. And His welcome is lavish, no expense is spared. The celebration is in the finding, the pursuing, the affection, the joy of being known and found and returned. (Luke 15:20b)

My God is never lost. I often am. He calls my name in the sweetest and most affectionate of ways. It is tender and endearing. A whisper that can be heard in the midst of a crowd. And my eyes dart here and there attempting to make contact with the eyes of the One who has known where I am all along.

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10 (NIV)

God’s a safe-house for the battered, a sanctuary during bad times. The moment you arrive, you relax; you’re never sorry you knocked. Psalm 9:9-10 (MSG)

I often find myself down rabbit trails I was never meant to wander onto. Places where discouragement and despair set their traps baited and waiting for my anxious feet to step in. In those moments, I have the opportunity to choose to hear the voice of my Father calling to me. I can take Him at His word and find the rescue of my soul. Or I can turn a deaf ear to Him and continue to wander, fruitlessly dragging the traps with me.

My God is the God who never forsakes me. Regardless of my choices, His love continues to win the day. Oh, it doesn’t mean that there will not be consequences of choice I have made. He is fully love and fully just at the same time and I wouldn’t want anything else. To forsake means to abandon, to renounce, to give up. If I was in charge, there would be so many moments where I would wash my hands of the situation, throwing them up in despair thinking “She will never learn so we give up on her.” My God does not do this. His hands gently wash the gunk out of my wounds, apply the healing salve of His forgiveness and love, and then we continue on the journey together.

My God is the God I can trust. He is the God who wants to be found and known. His promises are true. He is always with me. He is always desiring for me to fall even more in love with Him. I may choose to hide from time to time but true joy and delight are never found in the places where I hide. Rather, when I choose to climb into the lap of my Saviour, resting my head against His chest and feeling His heart beat for me, that is when I am reminded that being found and known by Him is the safest place to be.

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10 (NIV)


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