And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9
I love the sound of the footsteps of one I’m longing to see. The closer that person comes, the more the anticipation grows. However, I dread the sound of the footsteps of one I’m not longing to see!
When I was 8, I ate some Easter candy that my parents told me not to eat it. They were saving it for Easter. The next afternoon, I was playing outside with two friends and remembered the candy. Thinking that it would be the perfect snack for the three of us, I snuck in the kitchen and snatched it. Oh, it tasted good and delighted my friends.
That night in bed, I heard my father’s footsteps come to the bottom of the stairs. Then, the dreaded question came. “Christine, did you eat the Easter candy today that I told you not to eat?” I lied. “Nope, it wasn’t me.” Suffice it to say, he got to the truth and I got spanked.
Dread is always the response to someone I’ve wronged. Let it be an authority figure and the dread will be a ‘cold dread’. Is there any worse feeling than seeing the lights of a police car in your rear view mirror after realizing that you just ran a stoplight?
In spite of their sin of eating of the forbidden tree, God came searching for them. The heart of God is for restoration even though discipline may also be called for. I don’t believe God came bearing the tone of voice that my father used, “Where ARE you?” That usually means that you’re in big trouble. I do believe God’s question was that of a heartbroken Father who asked the question in a way that conveyed, “What happened? Where did you go?”
You might ask why I think this. I am basing this on the rest of the story. As soon as man fell, God already had plan for restoration. The entire biblical narrative reveals a God who pursues, who loves while spurned, who gave up His only Son to make a way for the disobedient and rebellious to come home.
To every one who is running today, God comes searching. If I am willing to come clean and admit my sin, I meet a Father with open arms, with a promise to forgive because of what His Son did for me at Calvary.
So much justice here is perverted. The innocent are punished and we cry, “Unfair!” But You, O Lord, know me. Your judgments are true. Yet, You came searching anyway for enemies like me. Thank you. Amen