What We Can Learn from Peekaboo

Our granddaughter, Langley, loves to play peekaboo. She’ll slap her chubby hands over her eyes to signal the start of the game. Then, after we say the requisite “Where’s Langley?” several times over, she retracts her hands excitedly, revealing a huge toothy grin.
Our dog Churchill – the rocket scientist one, not the one lacking everything but a brain stem – also loves that game. He’ll bury his face into the front of a couch or chair and wait, just like Langley (who is much more intelligent than my dog, by the way), for us to say “Where’s Churchill?” until he’s doggone good and ready to show us just where he is.
Educational experts tell us that peekaboo is an important developmental game because it teaches the concept of object permanence – the idea that things remain fixed even when unseen. Children find both comfort and delight in object permanence. It also is a critical step toward overcoming separation anxiety. Mom and Dad do come back.
Somehow the spiritual implications of peekaboo are lost on us adults. We have Jesus fixed in our sights until darkness and confusion cloud our vision. Then we keep asking, “Where’s Jesus? Someone tell me, where’s Jesus?”
I must admit that I found myself doing that very thing just this morning, when a wonderful speaker whom I was excited to hear graced our church’s pulpit this morning. As I began to listen to the message – one that did not disappoint – the enemy reminded me of an ongoing struggle, and discouragement set in. Where was Jesus in all this?
If you know Jesus, you’ve had the same struggle – probably over and over again, just like me. We forget that Jesus’ place in our lives is fixed. He isn’t going anywhere. It is we who wander.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” – Hebrews 13:5-6
I can stand up in the choir loft belting “It Is Well with My Soul” knowing full well it is not. The words will ring vaguely true, but as if for that other person over there for whom life seems easy and sweet. But as for me, I don’t see it, because I don’t see Him.
What’s so ironic is how swiftly and completely the darkness overtakes me. If this one thing is darkness, everything must be darkness. Yet He will show me, even in those moments, His glorious light, which illuminates my path. 
Just this morning, as I lamented about something that is nothing to God, He heard and responded to my heart’s cry on a completely different matter. Sweet victory over an ongoing area of struggle was right in front of me, yet still my vision was clouded. Oh, Lord, be Thou my vision, as the hymn pleads:
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

My darkness doesn’t endure long – a few agonizing moments – and then God opens a window to His presence throughout my life in Him, and I remember. I’ve been on this road before, and He walked beside me then. He will walk beside me again. His deliverance seldom comes in a way I expect, but it comes, wonderfully and in His perfect time. I open my eyes to the reality of Him, and He is still there, right where He always was. And soon He receives the glory for what He – not I, in my human frailty – has done.
So now I ask myself: Where’s Jesus? And the answer shall always be: Here He is.