Where Are You?

Genesis 3: 8-11, 21 (New Living Translation)

8When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. 9Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11“Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

 21And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

One of our cats, Bruce, shot out of the piano room like a lightning bolt once the door opened. We had placed the cats in that room to avoid having them escape out of the front and back doors as the WiFi installer guy would be in and out of our house for a few hours. Once the piano room door opened for the WiFi to be checked by the installer, both of our nine month old cats quickly escaped.

These cats love to run, jump and scratch items in our house and rarely have they been outside. We quickly located the other cat but unfortunately, after 30 minutes, we could not locate Bruce. Their little bells around their necks give their location away but we could only pinpoint one cat.

We looked under every bed, under couches and high up on the cabinets to where they have recently learned to jump but there was no second cat. I pictured Bruce having escaped outside while the WiFi guy went back and forth inside and out so my husband and I started investigating the yard, bushes and under cars in our neighborhood. I called for him, but heard no bell. “Here kitty kitty! Where are you Bruce?” Where could he have gone?

I looked again everywhere in my house. Then, I experienced the gut wrenching hollowness that he was gone. Could the massive hawk who visits my backyard to hunt for bunnies and squirrels have taken him? What will life be like for my daughters and Bruce’s brother cat?

Questions swirled but the WiFi guy left. I wondered if he really understood that he might have let the cat out and forever changed our life.

My husband decided to lift the back of our couch and beat on the back of it just to see if the missing cat was hiding in there. And guess what? The cat made the decision to hide in a nook inside of this couch. It took fifteen minutes to woo him out. He just wouldn’t budge for a while. Once he came out, we lavished him with head rubs and sweet talk!

Perhaps the drilling of the installer had startled him. Hearing unfamiliar noise can be unsettling for anyone even cats. Our dog barks loudly when she hears out of the ordinary sounds but the cat seemed to react differently. He hid.

Finding a place to settle was the cat’s way of dealing with stress. I guess we are all a bit like Bruce at times. We steal away and most importantly, escape from the problem.

How we respond to stress is our coping mechanism. Some of us publicly display anger with our words and actions while others sit and stew. If the stress stemmed from a willful decision to sin, it comes naturally to hide from the truth. Sometimes, we get ashamed and like Bruce, find a comfortable place to rationalize our choice.

When Adam and Eve hid due to the shame of sin, they did not want God to see them. Hiding became their go-to mechanism. Not much has changed because none of us really want to reveal our issues or consequences from decisions we’ve made. It’s easier to steal away and remove the noise and problems for some people.

Unlike our family who was searching outside and inside for Bruce, God searched for Adam and Eve in the Garden. He wanted them to know that He was searching for them by verbally calling out in the Garden, “Where are you?” God is all knowing so He already knew that they had sinned, but He needed them to know that He wanted fellowship with them. Adam chose to come out of hiding and speak to God telling Him that he was afraid and naked.

God didn’t place shame on Adam. Sin did that.

One of the things that is a huge part of this story is that Adam came out of hiding. He told God why he hid. The reason: nakedness.

Adam’s mind now realized his physical condition of nakedness. God provided clothes from an animal because He cared about Adam and Eve. Prior to providing grace in their covering, He told them several consequences to their decision to sin.

But before they had to leave paradise in the Garden, they had His Grace.

Grace to cover their error.

Grace to make a way where there seemed to be no way.

Grace to help in their time of need.

When we hide due to sin or stress, God is near. Adam and Eve had never before been stressed out as much as when they chose to hide from God. God will meet you, my friend, just as He did in the Garden of Eden.

2 Corinthians 5:21 New King James Version (NKJV)

21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Your life decisions may have caused you to hide but in reality, there is no hiding. God is calling to you now. “Where are you?” He asks. I love the words in 1 Corinthians 5:21 “that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.

He knows your location and desires fellowship with you. Be honest with God and become who He wants you to be.

Come out and be honest like Adam. Don’t be like my cat, Bruce, who would not come out from hiding for a very long time. God is waiting.

He is ready to meet you where you are. Jesus became our sacrifice for sin to cover our sins. No matter what has happened in the past, He will make a way where there seems to be no way.

I believe that God is still asking, “Where are you?” Perhaps it has been easier to not talk about the stuff we have held on to, but the Holy Spirit is gently calling you to share it. Share it in prayer and He will always have compassion and grace to help. Adam didn’t make the covering for his nakedness; God made it. And He will do it again.

I invite you to share your thoughts today with the God who sees, redeems and restores.