Word for the Week
Short reflections on Bible passages, with a frontline focus...
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?’He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.’
Lent is traditionally a season to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross and its implications for our daily lives. And, in this series, we will be doing so through the lens of six questions.
Where are you?
The love, tenderness, and desire for intimacy that will lead to Jesus’ infinitely costly Good Friday sacrifice is right there in God’s question.
God is not asking because he needs directions. He knows precisely where they are. As he knows precisely where we are. Despite their rebellion, he doesn’t kill them, he doesn’t drag them angrily from their hiding places by the scruff of their necks. He comes down ‘in the cool of the day’, as was his habit, and invites them into a conversation. He wants their fellowship. As he wants ours.
Perhaps God’s question is a question for us, however long we’ve been following Jesus. Lent, after all, is a time to reflect, to let God strip back the layers so we might know him better. Where am I in my relationship with him? What might I be hiding?
Perhaps I am too busy, too afraid, or too ashamed to walk with him ‘in the garden in the cool of the day’?
How are my relationships with others? Am I afraid of someone, too wary of their power, or too needy of their approval? Or perhaps I am harbouring anger, envy, jealousy, or indifference to boss, co-worker, client, or a family member. Are there things I have not done that I ought to have done? Things I have done that I ought not to have done?
God’s question is an invitation to allow him to bring to light those things he wants to help us with. Where are you? If you aren’t sure, if perhaps there are things hidden that you don’t even know are there, then one of David’s prayers gives us a way forward:
‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23–24)
And he will. Because ‘the way everlasting’ is what he has wanted for us – from the beginning.
Mission Champion, LICC