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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)

TITLE: The Unseen Obstacle Course
By M. R. Davenport


Most people would never imagine that God enjoys a good game of hide and seek. In fact, few Christians would ever presume such. We’re usually a little too uptight to think of God as someone that would do something so irreverent. So, childish. But it is a key element in our getting closer to Him and developing a growth pattern in our walk.

In Proverbs we read, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.”* I guess the first thing that comes to mind is why in the world would God want to hide something from us? With purpose. When God hides things He has a legitimate goal. He’s asking you, “How bad do you want it?”

Let me explain further. I watched my youngest son, Jacob, as he threaded the inflatable obstacle course at the Kids Place the other day. He had to use ropes to pull himself up, then slide down, squeeze through two horizontal hurdles, then a set of vertical ones. Next he was back on a rope, pulling and tugging himself up to the tallest slide. It was at least double his height. He screamed with pale faced excitement as he slid down at unprecedented speeds. He is one of the things in my life that brings me so much happiness. He laughs so hard and jumps so high. He makes me young.

When I watched him do things that others twice his age worked hard to achieve, it brought me such gratification to see him overcome something so demanding. In fact, I probably went a little overboard on my enthusiasm.

You might say the obstacle course was a hidden thing. Something that Jacob wasn’t able to accomplish until he learned to fight for it. You see, God loves to conceal things from us. He loves to keep the obvious from us. This forces us to decide whether or not “it’s worth it.“ Choosing to fight for it causes us to grow. My son grew a foot that day. He matured a year. He’ll never be the same because of what he managed to accomplish. I knew he could do it, now he knows as well.

God allows certain things to be kept from plain sight so that we are forced to go after them. To search for them. Every time I have ever had a breakthrough in my life, it wasn’t because God just dumped it in my lap. It was because I refused to let it go without a fight. Let me see if I can give you a good example.

In Genesis 32, we read an amazing story of the man Jacob. I suppose there’s little coincidence my son has the same name. This man spent a night alone with a “Man,” wrestling. Was it an all out fight? Perhaps. The word used in the Hebrew means to “grapple with.” My point is that Jacob wanted something and it wasn’t going to become his for free. He wanted a blessing. Jacob wanted something more. But to get it required him to fight for it. And he did. The results were positively astounding. From Jacob, the “supplanter,” to Israel, “he who rules as God.” In other words, someone who has be granted a ruling place with God. A “prince” of God.

When I watch my son achieve something like running an obstacle course at 3 years old, the excitement and all the hootin’ and hollerin’ and the pride I feel for him is my glory. Did you see that? My encouraging him to go for it is like when God hides something. He encourages us to go find it, go get it, go achieve it, go after it. When we do and it becomes revealed to us, we grow, and He is proud of us. Something has changed. My son didn’t just sit there after he was finished. He did it over and over. He no longer feared or failed to understand what the course was all about. He became deeply aware of what he had done and how to do it. He grew a little…

I hope as you read this, that you got what I was trying to convey. There is more to our relationship than a pew and paying tithes. God has things for us we could never imagine, but you won’t see them until you are willing to fight for them.

*Proverbs 25:2, KJV

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Member Comments
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Sara Harricharan 08/15/08
This is a great devotional, lots of things for me to think about. Thanks for sharing! ^_^
Ellen Dodson08/15/08
Very well written devotional. Your message is one we all need to rememember when faced with a challenge. I like how you dovetailed the abstracts with illustrations of your son. Great, great, great, but waned for me at the very end. Ending seemed "tacked on."