Hi Hope Ames!
"Where are you?"
It's a common question to ask nowadays, but I was beside myself when I read on a social media post that "Where are you?" is a relatively new phrase. Back in the days of no telephones, you would know where the person is if you are talking to him/her, making the question obsolete.
The post shook me, not because I was blown away by technological advancements, but I thought about Genesis 3:8-9.
I know what you might be thinking... 'That's quite the stretch. Minister really has his Jesus goggles on today.' But, stick with me!
Genesis 3:8, I think, is the saddest verse in the whole Bible:
"When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees."
What's so sad about that? "The man and his wife" had just committed the first sin, and now they're ashamed to be around God. It's sad because I know what it's like to want to hide from God. I know what it's like to be so disgusted with myself that I'm beyond not deserving love - I don't even want it.
Hold on, though. Genesis 3:9 says,
"Then the LORD God called to the man, 'Where are you?'"
Where are you?
Why did God ask that? This was before telephones (right?). God knew where "the man and his wife" were hiding, but he still asks that question.
Do you know that even when you mess up...? Like, big-time mess up. Huge. The worst thing you never thought you were capable of doing. Did you know that even then, God comes into your hiding place and asks, "Where are you?"
He doesn't wait for you to find him. We're never with God because we found him. We're with God because he found us.
But, why does he ask? I think God is engaging us because he likes the sound of our voice when it's going out to him. It's like he's loving us into loving him back. He's loving us into coming out of the hiding places and seeing that he still wants us.
This weekend, I'll be speaking on the question, "Where is God when I'm lost?" and I'll be going along with some of these thoughts. I hope to see you there, in the Ames City Auditorium at 10:30 am on Sunday!