Monday Manna: "Where Are You?"

Genesis 3:8-9 We have all heard in some form the story of creation. The six God-sized days in which we went from nothing to everything. Galaxies, billions of stars, the moon, the seas, tadpoles, butterflies, giraffes, inchworms, colors, fragrances, cool breezes, sunsets and you and me. Six God-sized days. Creation. There it was. And He said, it was good.

The Bible tells us that God knows everything, that He even transcends time. So, when God saw the splendor of the cheetah’s spots, the glorious sunrise over the sea, man and woman in beautiful relationship, He also knew what would follow: pollution, disease, war, violence, injustice ... And still, He pronounced it Good.

But how can that be? There is sorrow and suffering everywhere. Marriages crushed. Infertility breaking hearts with every female cycle. Youth (and their moms) struggling for identity in a world that glorifies staged snapshots that only mask the true cravings of a heart . Poverty suffocates. Race divides. It goes on and on. So, in all that, where is this GOOD, God proclaimed?

I love my God, because He can take my hard questions. After the creation part of the story, in chapter 3, Eve takes the forbidden fruit that is “pleasing to the eye and promises to make her wise” (Pinterest anyone?). And just like that, paradise is lost. They went from living in Eden *with God*, working alongside Him, hearing His voice (with real words), peace, harmony, relationship – to hiding from God, ashamed.

I don’t think we can grasp what they felt like. Imagine those moments when you are with family or friends and there is just this connection. You feel loved, you love in return. There is joy and an easy presence in the space. Laughter, connection, mutual respect, deep love and affection. I think that feeling times a gazillion would take us close to what Adam, Eve and God had. You see, Adam and Eve had NEVER DONE ANYTHING WRONG, so they had nothing to hide. Their relationship was complete in a way that we cannot fathom. Even with our spouses, our mothers, our besties, we hide little things. But to ol’ sister Eve, this was brand new. Total connection, total love, total intimacy was abruptly interrupted.

And do you know what our God did? In their shame, in their guilt, *when they had run away from what was GOOD, *He called out to them. He said, “*where are you?”* Remember, our God knows all things so He knew exactly where they were. He knew exactly what they had done. He did not call out to them because He needed information. *He called out to them so they would know He was right there*. They may have run away from Him, but He was right there within their reach.

Not much has changed. We, like Eve, can make a real mess of things. We will run and hide, in shame and guilt, but God who is GOOD is right there, within reach, calling out to all of us, ‘where are you?’ His call is like a rescue rope for us to reach out and grab hold of. He is calling all of us. Where are you?

What if we simply said, “Here I am?”