by Candy Arrington @CandyArrington
“But the LORD God called to the man, ‘Where are you?'” Genesis 3:9 (NIV)
The final years of my mother’s life were filled with health issues, resulting in surgeries, complications, physical therapy rehabilitation, and pain. In the last months, dementia wrapped her in a haze of befuddlement and fear.
Each day, when I entered the “memory” unit of the care facility, before I even saw my mother, I heard her pleading voice reverberate down the corridor, “Please! Please! Won’t somebody help me?” Even when I sat beside her, held her hand, and assured her of my presence, she continued to yell for help. During those difficult days, I often prayed, God, where are you? How does my mother’s suffering glorify you? When will you answer her cry for rescue?
During challenging times, it’s not unusual to ask, “God, where are you?” We want an immediate response to questions that sometimes have no ready answers. We question God’s timing, wanting to know the outcome of the situation prior to its resolution. But have you ever wondered what it’s like for God when we distance ourselves from him?
When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they experienced fear for the first time. Suddenly, they understood the consequences of sin—separation from God. Prior to sin, they eagerly awaited God and enjoyed fellowship with Him in the cool, lush garden that was their home. After disobeying, they feared God’s reaction and hid from their Creator.
Even before he asked “Where are you?” God knew his relationship with Adam and Eve had changed.
Many days, God asks me the same question, “Where are you?” Chores capture my attention. Deadlines loom. Emails, social networking, phone conversations, or TV watching eat up valuable hours with little return. And God waits patiently, knocking on my heart’s door, asking where I am and why I haven’t spent time with Him.
Where are you? A good question. Where am I in my spiritual walk? Where am I in my prayer life? Where am I in Bible study? Where am I in sharing the Good News? Sometimes I am hiding because I’ve allowed unconfessed sin to erect a colossal barrier. Other days, I am simply lazy and undisciplined, navigating life on my own terms, seeking wisdom elsewhere, and fearing things that may never happen. Yet God patiently waits, longing for special times of connection with me.
Sometimes we forget that God created us specifically for the purpose of having fellowship with him. The word picture in Revelation 3:20 of Jesus sitting at the dinner table sharing a meal with us provides a reminder of the warm fellowship afforded us, if we’re willing to take advantage of it.
But too often we ignore His offer of intimate friendship. God stands by waiting to impart wisdom, encourage us, comfort, and help us with problems and struggles. He misses us when we remain distant. But instead of seeking him and looking forward to time with him, we hide behind duties, obligations, events, relationships, or self-created busyness that we consider more urgent or important. We fall into bed at night exhausted, and God is still waiting, sad that we have ignored him yet another day, whispering, “I’m here. Where are you?”
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” Revelation 3:20 (NIV).
About the author: Candy Arrington has written hundreds of articles and devotionals, often on tough topics. Her books include AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B & H) and When Your Aging Parent Needs Care: Practical Help for This Season of Life (Harvest House). Candy is a native South Carolinian, who gains writing inspiration from historic architecture, vintage photographs, nature, and the application of Biblical principles to everyday life. Learn more about Candy at www.CandyArrington.com, where you can also read her blog, Forward Motion: Moving Beyond What Holds You Back.
Candy’s book, When Your Aging Parent Needs Care, is a help to those who face the special effort of caring for a parent. It provides support and direction to enable the caregiver to be spiritually, physically, and emotionally prepared for the day to day challenges they face.
Join the conversation: What keeps you from fellowship with the Father?