Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
It was evening when I picked up my phone from my nightstand. I was surprised to see an email from my Pastor. His subject line asked, “Where art thou?” It is a beautiful thing to have a Pastor that has a shepherd’s heart to seek you out when he doesn’t see you.
I didn’t think anything else about it until recently out from nowhere, Jesus asked me, “Where are you?” Same question my Pastor asked but worded slightly different.
When Jesus asks a question, it is to help us become aware of our spiritual condition. In Genesis 3:9, when Adam was hiding in the bushes, God asked Adam, “Where are you?”
The inquiry by God was not about Adam’s physical location. He knew exactly where Adam and Eve was hiding. He didn’t ask Adam why are you hiding though Adam answered the question as if He did.
God is still asking us the same question today: “Where are you?” A powerful question to ask ourselves at the end of the year.
Before the new year, take the time to get quiet with Jesus for personal reflection. (Use the accompanying journal). Be honest with yourself and with God about where you are. The enemy would much rather you hide than reflect on where you are in your relationship with Jesus. Because personal reflection or examination is costly; denial is easier.
Know that God is not surprised by your sin or what you hide behind that distracts you from a growing relationship with Jesus. He is aware of even the good things like serving that we can hide behind. Luke 10:40 says, But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she came up to him, and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister left me to serve alone? Ask her therefore to help me." Jesus knows that we can go to church every Sunday and still lose sight of him.
Jesus asks the question, “Where are you?” not to condemn you but because He loves you. It is an invitation for you to draw close to him. He knows how tempting the beautiful things of the world come to distance you from becoming more like him.
Life has a way of making you exhausted enough to hide or become stagnant when you find yourself not where you expected your life to be. But Jesus loves you too much to keep you hiding. He pursues you with an everlasting love.
As you reflect on where you are, don’t get discouraged that you are not where you want to be. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
Beautiful is found at the end of yourself. It is uncomfortable. It is the place we never thought we would be. It is the place where we are hiding from God.
In my younger days, I was crazy in love with someone that wasn’t ready to be in a committed relationship. With tears in my eyes, I told him that one day I was going to get over him.
I didn’t know how or when I was going to become that person, but I knew I had to take my heart back and give it to God. I had to pursue Jesus more than I pursued my relationship with him. I had to love Jesus more than I loved him. I kept a list of the many ways he broke my heart as a reminder when my heart felt lonely enough to answer his calls.
Years later when I ran into him, my heart didn’t skip a beat. A few days later, he unexpectedly showed up at my apartment. A true test of what it looked like to be made beautiful in its time.
As I shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with him, tears flowed down my face as I told him, “You could come to Jesus right where you are.” When he left, I realized that in its time, I was not only over him, but made beautiful by God.
So, close the door on this year by celebrating the beautiful that you have become even if it is not all that God intended. Know that there is beautiful waiting for you in the new year.
Turn on some music and have yourself a praise party. Excuse me while I dance to my go to praise party song - I Like Me by Kirk Franklin feat. Da’ T.R.U.T.H..
Happy New Year!