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Where Are You?

Today’s Reflection

THE FIRST QUESTION in the Bible draws us powerfully into God’s passionate longing for friendship with us. We see it in the second creation story in Genesis 2:4–3:24. After creating Adam and Eve, God gives them everything they need for a flourishing life – air to breathe, food to eat, work to do, and someone to love. God only forbids one thing: They must not eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, for then they will enter into rivalry with God.

We all know how the story goes from there. Adam and Eve refuse to take God’s warning seriously. They eat the fruit that they have been told not to eat to tragic consequence. Their intimate connection with God and each other is broken. Closeness is replaced by distance, intimacy by distrust, and love by fear.

Adam and Eve sew fig leaves together to hide their nakedness from each other, and they hide from God behind some bushes in the garden. Then we read those haunting words that take us right into the loving heart of God: “But the Lord God called…’Where are you?’ ” (Genesis 3:9).

God could have asked different questions that would have revealed a very different picture of God. If God were an angry parent, God would have asked, “How could you have done this after all I have done for you?” But God does not.

If God wanted Adam and Eve to feel really bad about their actions, God would have asked, “Why did you do this when I gave so much to you?” But God does not.

Instead of these guilt-producing, conscience-pricking questions, God simply asks, “Where are you?”

As we consider this question, does it help us realize how dearly God wants to be our friend? Certainly, God’s question shows us that even when we mess up, when we let ourselves down, when we fail to obey God, God does not reject us. Nor does God give up on us. Rather, God comes looking for us. God continues to pursue our companionship.

God knows the worst about us, but that knowledge does not prevent God from taking the initiative in reaching out to us.

Here’s the bottom line of God’s good news: Nothing can ever extinguish the flame of God’s passionate longing to be our friend.

– Trevor Hudson
Beyond Loneliness

From pages 36-37 of Beyond Loneliness: The Gift of God’s Friendship by Trevor Hudson. Copyright © 2016 by Trevor Hudson. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How do you answer God’s question, “Where are you?” Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him.

He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

Luke 22:14-16, NRSV

This Week: those who serve communion. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Patrick of Ireland (March 17).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 22 comments… add one }

  • Jill March 19, 2016, 4:50 am

    If God were to ask me, “where are you?” – my interpretation of that would be “why have you strayed?” For He desires that I would always be at His side. His wounded side. Those wounds are for me. Father – thank You for these thoughts this morning. Your precious wounded side…draw me nearer, nearer, for I tend to wander. Yes, thank You for these thoughts – as Easter approaches – might I better appreciate the magnitude of the events of this upcoming Holy Week.
    Grateful for the preciousness of relationships. Grateful for bountiful sunshine. Grateful that another safety concern was handled efficiently at school yesterday. Father – thank You for continued protection of my school. Be with administration in their leadership roles.

  • marc hickey March 19, 2016, 6:30 am

    We’re am I ? I have been lost for a very long time struggling with addiction has been a very tuff and losing battle today I am feeling positive about my life it’s really time to take Christ back into my life I am very thankful Lord for everything you have given me for my life and my family for my health and my safety allow me Lord to become a passionate Christian Lord I feel safe with you Lord I know you have given me the strength I need to overcome this disease it’s up to me to use it thank you Lord for your love and understanding May YOUR Love Touch Upon THOSE Who Need It THE Most

    • Carol March 19, 2016, 7:45 am

      Marc, today I will contemplate your beautiful words, “Lord I feel safe with you”. It brings pictures of trust and smiles and tears from childhood. May you hold tight to these words in the moments of struggle. Have a great day.

  • Sara March 19, 2016, 8:03 am

    A beautiful example of God’s love for us. I would respond, I’m here Lord, and thank you for the beautiful example You give to us about love and how we can use that example in our own lives with children and grandchildren and those we meet. Love instead of fixing blame and hurting the feelings of others.

    Blessings and a wonderful day to all who visit the UR.

  • Rusty March 19, 2016, 8:25 am

    Such a tender reading today. Where am I? Lord, I believe I’m searching for you. After reading today’s passage, I picture myself as very small and walking around in meandering circles out in a field looking down saying “Father, here I am. Where are you?” And Lord, you gently saying “Look up! Fear not, for I am with you.”

    Today’s reading calls to mind a favorite passage by Max Lucado commenting on Genesis 3:21:

    “‘The LORD … dressed them.’ Adam and Eve are on their way out of the garden. They’ve been told to leave, but now God tells them to stop. ‘Those fig leaves,’ he says, shaking his head, ‘will never do.’ And he produces some clothing. But he doesn’t throw the garments at their feet and tell them to get dressed. He dresses them himself. As a father would zip up the jacket of a preschooler. God covers them.”

    Marc, thank you for writing. God will cover you, brother. Welcome aboard! Glad to have you with us.

  • Andrea March 19, 2016, 8:38 am

    God simply asks, “Where are you?” God wants to know all our lost places and fill them with unfathomable love.

    Marc, I will keep you in my prayers going forward.

    “Behold the former things have passed away and new things I now declare. Before they spring forth I tell you of them.”
    Isaiah 42

    God’s blessings for a faith-filled weekend/Palm Sunday.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 19, 2016, 8:45 am

    Marc, thanks for your powerful testimony! May you always be under the wings of God’s protection and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a victorious life in Christ!

    In response to God’s question, “where are you?” My reply is “here I am, God. Thank you for your grace and loving kindness.”

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  • Connie March 19, 2016, 9:02 am

    Here I am, Lord. With my wonderful friends. Praying for Marc (You are his sure hope). And in Your presence is where I always wish to be. Wave the palms to welcome Jesus. Welcome Spring. Hallelujah.

  • April March 19, 2016, 10:07 am

    Here I am Lord, not afraid to tell you this, for You are Love and You only want the best for us. I pause now to consider that you may be asking me to think about something new. Are you nudging me to think about a change in employment, location, relationship with family (especially grandchildren), relationship with You, or something else?
    The picture yesterday was of 2 stepping stones and the caption was that sometimes You guide us to go with the flow and sometimes You ask us to step across the stream on the stepping stones that are conveniently placed before us. As I have progressed through the Lenten season and looked deeper into myself, I have asked the what, where, when, how questions because I know the who is me.
    Thank you Lord for this thought provoking reading and all the previous answers from the UR family. I will continue to look for the answer You have for me and rejoice with joy when I find it! The joy of the Lord is my strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
    Blessing to all as we celebrate Palm Sunday tomorrow and Easter the next!

  • robert moeller March 19, 2016, 4:32 pm

    Here I am, Lord is my reply. Very thankful that God is looking for me. That is a precious thought. I am hopeful that I am also looking for God and that I keep on looking.

    Thankful for men’s communion breakfast, we had a wonderful meal, made a good decision, were able to talk to and pray with a founding member who is not able to come and is almost 90. Thankful for Marc’s comments here today. God is looking out for you, Marc, just as God looks out for all of us. Thankful for the wounds Jill mentions that save us. While Holy Week begins and ends joyously, there is some serious and not at all pleasant work that Jesus does to bring about the ultimate joy. Thankful to be able to help Erich and Anneliese today. It has been a chilly but very sun filled day. A little stress and concern, but in the end positive results. Thank You, Lord.

    Blessings to all as we come to Palm Sunday. Hosanna in the highest. Our King is coming to save us.

  • Lou March 19, 2016, 5:11 pm

    Our King is coming to save us-
    That is all we need to know.
    He is with you Marc and everyone of us
    Today and always
    Our King is coming to save us…..

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