Where are you? This question can evoke many responses that take us in different directions. You can answer by giving me your location. You could even drop me a location pin to my IPhone. You could answer with some general sense of your state and season of life “I’m busy. I am so slammed right now, I feel a little overwhelmed!”
Or you could go deeper, into the state of your heart – your true spiritual and emotional condition. Where are you? In your heart of hearts, where are you with God, with yourself, and the world around you. Often, we can find ourselves feeling pretty out of sync in our interior life. Where are you?
That was the first question asked in the Bible after the man and woman had sinned. When they rebelled against God and ate of the forbidden tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they found themselves in an awkward state of being they had never been in before. The Genesis account says, “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” (Genesis 3:7-8)
The Lord came into the garden searching for his children who were hiding “from the presence of the Lord.” This was when their Heavenly Father called to them and said, “Where are you?” Do you know that when God asks a question, it is not for his benefit. He knows the answer already, but he wants those listening to engage with his question so they can look and see below the surface to the root of the problem and issue.
The man and woman were made for the Presence of the One who made them in His image. Yet, now His Presence has become scary and intimidating. They are fearful. They were guilty, even trying to cover themselves with fig leaves. They were full of shame, running and hiding from God because they were ashamed of what they had become. Their eyes had been opened in a way that did not lead to freedom and deeper intimacy with God, but their sinful rebellion opened their eyes to their complete state of helpless vulnerability and inadequacy.
God had warned them not to eat of the forbidden fruit, for if they did they would “surely die.” He came searching for them in love that day, but He sadly had to lead them to the exit door of paradise that day. They forfeited their home in the garden in the presence of their God, and found themselves as outcasts living in the wilderness of exile. Their quest for greater independence led them to a complete lack of peace and totally separated from their true Home in the presence of the Lord. Their world had become a frightening new reality that was no longer safe and secure.
Where are you? It is a question God would still ask us.
He knows the answer. Do you? Are you willing to let that question go deep?
Fear, guilt, and shame have regrettably become some of the chief emotions of our day. They lead us into a lack of peace, questioning our identity, worth, and purpose.
The Father never gave up looking for his children though. His desire was always for them to find their way back Home to Him. The Old Testament reveals an ongoing search of heaven for a prodigal people. There were promises of salvation, renewal and the restoration from their separation – a return of peace!
Fast Forward: An angel appears to a virgin. A supernatural conception. No earthly father, but a Heavenly Father. Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary.
What Child is this? You will call Him Jesus. He will be great. He will be called Son of the Most High. And He shall reign forever. (Luke 1:26-38)
A census taken. Bethlehem. No Room. A stable and a manger. He is born and wrapped in cloths lying in that manger.
Shepherds in a field. Angel appears. More angels. Glory of God shone around them. Fear Not. Good News of Great joy: A Savior is born. Christ the Lord. Go find him. Glory to God in the highest. And…
PEACE on earth. Good will (from God) to all people.
Peace for all people is available. God’s good will has come to humanity in this child.
He never stopped looking. He never stopped searching. Where are you my child? We are lost! Where are you? We are sinful. Where are you? Not where we should be. And we simply don’t know the way back home. Many of us do not even know where home is. We are lost in a dark wilderness constantly searching for peace and rest without knowing where to really find. It’s scary. And we are filled with all kinds of fear, guilt, and shame.
I know. I know you are lost. I just need you to know it.
Do not fear. I knew you would never find your way home. So I have come to find you. I have sent a search and rescue team. He is literally leaving the glory of heaven to come down into the dark wilderness of your world. He will become one of you. He will walk among you. He will walk in human “shoes”, but He will walk as no human ever before. He will find you. He will fight for you. He will be willing to bleed for you. He will give is life for you.
He will find you. And when you find Him who finds you, you will begin to know peace again. You will find healing, hope, and victory. He will remind you of home. And I promise, He will lead you home again!
Father God, the One who is ever faithful and has never given up on me, I am grateful. Help me know “where I am” today, so I can honestly bring my heart before you. I am tired of running and hiding. In my brokeness, I often am filled with fear, guilt, and shame – and feel such a lack of peace. There are times I still feel like I am wandering lost in wilderness of darkness. Thank you for always coming after me. Thank you for finding me. Jesus! Your never ending love is coming after me. Here I am. Come and find me here in this moment, and in this place. Lord Jesus, I am home in your arms. I am home in your presence. Forgive me for running and hiding. I want to always run to you, not away from you. Thank you for always running after me. Thank you for restoring me to peace and to your Presence once again. To God be the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.