Where Are You?

When my grandsons were two and three years old, they loved stripping off their clothes and running naked through the house. Such innocence and freedom! I’m sure it was a glimpse of God’s original plan for all of us. No shame about our bodies. Free from negative thoughts or words. It’s hard to wrap my mind around that level of freedom.

Genesis 3:7-8 tells us, “They realized they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Adam and Eve covered their nakedness as a response to the shame they experienced. But that didn’t provide them the relief they sought. “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day and they hid from the Lord among the trees in the garden.” Their self made covering of leaves didn’t help, so they tried to hide.

With the first sin, more than just shame invaded the world. Entering the garden alongside shame came death, chaos, confusion, corruption, and pain. Where mankind had once enjoyed beautiful fellowship with God, the decision to disobey caused man to try to hide.

Just like Adam and Eve, we also try to cover our shame; and too often we try to hide from God. Some use rationalization and excuses as their fig leaves. Some hide behind denials of God’s existence. But any self-driven attempts to rectify our sin never truly erase it.

But there is good news. God doesn’t turn His back on us because we sin. He approaches us with loving kindness and a question. He knows the answer but we must consider our response. Genesis 3:9 tells us, “the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?”

God seeks relationship with us. Not because He’s needy but because of His steadfast love. His love compelled Him to step into the brokenness of this world and use a cross to conquer sin and shame. Shame no longer holds the power to drive a believer into hiding from our God.

Jesus came when times were bad – really, really bad. Over 2000 years have passed and the state of affairs hasn’t changed much. Jesus entered the world when the Middle East was in political chaos. He entered a world filled with prejudice and just as it did then, prejudice always produces abuse. Jesus entered a world filled with power struggles. He entered a world filled with oppression and addictions. He entered a world where people were spiritually searching for truth as long as truth didn’t interfere with their personal desires and comfort. Sound familiar?

Today, even though the world’s problems are the same, Jesus continues to show up. He shows up for anyone spiritually seeking Him. He shows up in unique ways when the medical diagnosis is devastating. He shows up when we cry out because the oppression and addiction seem to be overpowering. He shows up when we are searching for a way out of pain and anxiety. He shows up when we feel abandoned. Truth is, He’s actually always been right there.

He is the One who gives unexplainable peace in the midst of devastating circumstances. His grace gives strength to persevere and power to overcome.

Not only does Jesus show up, He pursues us. He asks, “Where are you?” even though He knows the answer. He waits for our response. For anyone recognizing their brokenness and need for a Savior, He says “Here I am. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

Fellowship restored. A call to intimacy. A feast with the King of kings. Deeper fellowship.

Questions to ponder:

In relationship with God, where am I? Am I running ahead or am I walking beside Him? Or am I lagging behind? Or am I trying to hide?

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