Where are you?

Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”—For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.—What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? … And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’—All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me; I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that was not called by my name.  I spread out my hands all the day to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices—And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming.  Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him…We must celebrate with a feast!

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness—I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance—Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance—And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

Gen 3:9 NLT; Lk.19:10 ESV; Lk.15:4,6 ESV; Is. 53:6 ESV; Is. 65:1-2 ESV; Lk.15:20,23NLT; Ps.95:7-8 ESV; Lk.5:32 ESV; Lk.15:7 ESV; Rom.8:30 NLT

Where was Adam? He was wearing a fig leaf and hiding in the woods from the terrifying prospect of meeting God face to face after having disobeyed His one prohibition.  Everything had been so delightful, so innocent and free up until that point.  And now…what a mess! Shame, guilt, and terror had displaced the bliss of sharing life with the Creator. His presence had morphed from delight to terror. But God came calling, giving Adam opportunity to own his sin, to acknowledge his rebellion, to come clean and face the consequences.  This was no game of hide and seek.  Adam may have lost sight of God, but God hadn’t lost sight of him.

God could have left him in hiding helplessly entangled with the powers of darkness.  He could have let him wander back to the tree of life to eat and live forever lost, damned, shut out from God’s presence for eternity. But God came seeking,  “Adam, where are you?”  Desiring to know and be known, desiring to share Life with His prized creation, desiring to redeem, God came calling.

Where am I?  Where do I run when I have sinned and the guilt and shame of it are more than a fig leaf can cover?  Where am I? When sin has won the day and Satan lurks gloating? When guilt and shame and raw rebellion urge me to run and hide,  to seek relief where it can never satisfy, to make excuses or to hunker down in self-pity…

Where am I?

Thanks be to God for coming to seek and to save, I am in Christ.

I have been adopted by this good Father who knows and loves anyway, who sees all but declares me “holy and blameless and above reproach before him”.

Where am I?  I am right here in His Beloved Son.

Arise, my soul, arise,
shake off your guilty fears:
the bleeding Sacrifice
in my behalf appears:
before the throne my Surety stands,
before the throne my Surety stands,
my name is written on his hands.
My God is reconciled;
his pard’ning voice I hear;
he owns me for his child,
I can no longer fear;
with confidence I now draw nigh,
with confidence I now draw nigh,
and “Father, Abba, Father!” cry.
–Charles Wesley (1742)

–LS

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