“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” – Genesis 3:8-9
When I was a kid, I can remember going to my first Padres game at the now-defunct Jack Murphy Stadium. Being at the game for the first time was sensory overload for my young mind. My dad, brother, and I began the journey of looking for our seats while I was overwhelmed by professional baseball players and strange guys selling cotton candy and Cracker Jacks. Before I knew it, I was lost. I can remember panicking and trying to find someone that would help me find my dad. Little did I know, I was never actually lost. My dad was of course aware of where I was the whole time and was yelling at me in the crowd something I’m sure similar to “Seth! Where are you going? Come over here!”
This experience, while terrifying in the moment, has always been a reminder to me of how I think God sees us sometimes. We’re so easily entangled in sin and our ways and our distractions that we sometimes miss the fact that God is with us, He’s standing right beside us, asking the question to us, “Where are you going?” While in the midst of our mess, we have a God that pursues us. As we remember Adam and Eve, in the midst of their shame and brokenness due to their sin, God is there. Adam and Eve have taken it upon themselves to hide, they’re afraid and are ashamed. Instead of coming for vengeance, God stands in the garden asking Adam, “Where are you?” This is the same God today who in the midst of our sin, brokenness, and shame stands calling out to us to come home. Although we are tempted to hide from God, God’s love drives His pursuit of us and calls us out of hiding.
God’s love is the driving force behind His pursuit of us. We know that God demonstrated His love for us that while we were still enemies of God, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Sometimes, like at the game, we feel like our Father is far away, but He’s standing there next to us asking, “Where are you going? I love you, come over here.” If there are areas in which you’re running away, bring those things before the Lord in prayer and stop hiding. Your heavenly Father who loves you is right beside you.
Pastor Seth Redden
High School Pastor