There was a season in my life when I played an endless game of hide-and-seek with God. It was a long-running game and I was committed to winning – to find that perfect place where I could hide and never be found.
So I ran away; I travelled far and wide to remote places. I was getting good at it, or so I thought!
When God asked Adam and Eve “Where Are You?” in Genesis 3:9, He questioned not because He didn’t know; He is the all-knowing God.
He asked because of His inherent Grace. He was gracious enough to allow the sinners to come forward on their own to tell Him what they had done.
When I recently re-read this passage, it was not just His Grace that called out to me but the state of His heart.
How did God, who is so full of love and compassion, feel when he had to say those words – “Where Are You?” – knowing full well they were hiding from Him?
I was forced to ask myself: How heart-broken our Good Father must have felt knowing that the ones He had created for Himself and loved so dearly had drifted away from Him.
They had wandered to a point where they no longer gravitated towards His closeness but instead felt the need to hide? They no longer felt that perfect intimacy.
Surely God must have felt anguish?
“So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” – Isaiah 30:18
Then I was reminded that if God is the same yesterday, today and forever and He felt despair then, when Adam and Eve hid, surely He feels that same despair when I drift away and distance myself from Him? For I too am His beloved, whom He created in His image for Him…
When we, who love so conditionally and often with so much restraint, lose something or someone we love, we cry out those very words.
How much deeper must God, with His infinite and unconditional love, feel when we turn away? Surely His heart must ache!
Often when I travel and even as I journey in life, I ask myself “Where am I going?” I get so caught up in trying to figure out and understand where I’m headed or supposed to go that I forget I’m not meant to figure it out on my own.
In trying to work it all out myself, time and time again I have allowed myself to put a veil between God and me. I know that God has asked me “Where Are You?” far more than I have uttered that question to myself.
God’s request for us to step closer is eternally endless. He never stops pursuing and He never stops prompting. Even when we tell Him we are not ready – for whatever reason we use – God NEVER stops trying to win us over.
Our Father is always waiting to clothe every prodigal child with the royal robes of righteousness and restore our identity with the crown of sonship. He waits to usher us back into His royal courts as heirs to His kingdom.
We each have an open invitation to come a little closer to God; to sit at His banquet in communion with Him; to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). The Lord draws close to those who draw close to Him (James 4:8) and His invitation to draw close is never withdrawn.
Yet, sometimes we go through each day completely unaware that He wants us closer. We forget that He is El Roi, the God who SEES us.
Instead, we either ignore His presence completely or we strive to get his attention – continually asking Him, “where are you, God?” We sometimes wonder if God is pleased with us or question if we need to do more.
In Luke 19:1-10, Zacchaeus was a man reviled by his community but he sought hard to get the attention of the Messiah. Because of his small stature, and perhaps his sinful nature, Zacchaeus believed he had to position himself in the right place to be noticed, as Jesus walked through the streets of Jericho. So, he climbed the highest tree and waited on the Lord…
But, Jesus “saw” Zacchaeus long before their eyes met! Jesus already knew the man’s heart. He knew that beneath the sinful exterior, Zacchaeus was ready to repent, so Jesus called out to him and announced that He will be a guest at the sinner’s home that evening!
The truth is, not unlike Jesus and Zacchaeus, God wants and sees only your heart – nothing more… He’s ready for some time alone with you.
So where are YOU today? Is your heart leaning into God or distracted by other things? Are you ready to receive Him at your home? He is…
Previously published in Christianity Malaysia