I find it interesting how a simple question can have layers of meaning to it.
“I went to do a radio interview before a show and the DJ asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I thought, ‘Is this guy really deep, or did I drive to the wrong station.’” - Mitch Hedberg
This joke has always cracked me up but the question that has been on my heart since Sunday is similar - “Where are you?” We were reading in Genesis about Adam and Eve and how God made man and woman for each other. I continued on quietly reading to the fall of man - when sin entered into the world. In short, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and mankind was forever changed.
After this sin, God comes into the garden and they are hiding from Him. The first question God asks is, “Where are you?” Simple question. Maybe. Maybe not. First off, God knew exactly where they were. He wasn’t playing hide and seek with them. When my kids were young they would attempt to “hide” in plain site. I would pretend to be looking for them saying, “where are you?” That’s kind of what I think about here.
When God asks a question it’s not because He doesn’t know something. He asks a question for our benefit. I think there are a few aspects to this question we can consider when God asks, “Where are you?” The first is physical. Think about this - God and man up to this point had an amazing, innocent, open, relationship. God would meet with Adam and they would walk through the garden together in perfect fellowship. On this day, God shows up like He always does, and there’s no Adam. "Where are you? Adam, you’re not with me like you were before. This is our meeting place. This is where we meet and fellowship. I haven’t changed. I haven’t moved. You did. You’re hiding in the bushes while I’m here waiting for you.”
It’s crazy, but when we allow sin into our lives - when we need God the most - we stay away from Him and His people. You’ve probably heard the saying regarding the Bible, “This book will keep you from sin and sin will keep you from this book” or something like that. Where we used to have a quiet time with God in the morning and attend worship and group Bible study, we find other things to occupy our time. Why is that?
I was blessed with an amazing dad. When I was young, I loved doing things with my dad. We hunted and fished and went for walks in the woods. However, when I got into trouble, I would dread my dad getting home and issuing punishment. On a normal day, I was happy to hear his work truck pull into the driveway. On the days I was bad, I would stay in my room and cringe at the same sound. I imagine that’s how Adam and Eve felt in Garden that day. When we look at the Bible in Genesis 3 we see that they are physically in the bushes hiding from God.
That’s how I feel some days when I’m not living the life God has called me to live. I think it’s a healthy thing to look at ourselves periodically and ask, “Where are you?” Am I “hiding” from God? Am I putting myself in the presence of God or am I letting sin keep me from those places?
I believe another way we can look at the “Where are you?” question from God is emotionally. Adam and Eve lived in paradise. There was peace and serenity. Yet, here we find they answer God, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid.” They were afraid. Where there was peace, it was replaced with fear. They were afraid of being open and “naked” before God. Their relationship was not where it should be. Had sin made them forget who God was and how much He loved them?
God loves us so much. In the Bible it says we are to call him “Father.” Yes, He is “Lord” and “Almighty” and “King” and many other majestic names that are appropriate for who He is. But “Father” shows the intimacy that God desires with us. We were created for that intimacy. We need it! When we are in a right relationship with God and see the love He has for us, there is peace, not fear.
So, where are you emotionally? Fearful of God? Fearful of life? I encourage you to trust the Mighty God that created you with a purpose and loves you more than you could ever imagine.
The third and last thing I think of when God asks, “Where are you?” is the spiritual. Spiritually, where were Adam and Eve? Where there was a sense of unity, there was now division because of sin. There was now a spiritual separation between them and God. That’s not a good place to be.
This is the biggest question for you to consider. Where are you, spiritually? The Bible teaches that we are all sinners. We’ve fallen short of God’s perfection. We are separated from Him spiritually. However, God sent His Son to die on our behalf. He took our place. If we trust Him, we can have an intimate relationship with Him and live the life we were created to live. I asked myself, “Where am I, spiritually?” I’m a sinner saved by grace. I live for Him. Am I perfect? Not even close, but I strive to live the life He’s called me to live and ask for forgiveness where I fail. I get to experience His mercy and grace on a daily basis and boy do I need it.
Where am I? Am I where God wants me, striving to be doing what He’s called me to do? Am I worshiping with His people? Am I seeking Him daily? I’m trying.
Where am I? Am I at peace emotionally, because I trust Him? Am I living in Faith instead of fear? Most of the time.
Where am I? Am I spiritually alive because I’ve trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior? Absolutely!
Where are you?