He holds out his hand as I reach out for it — or maybe it’s more like He’s reaching out for me and I miraculously grab what’s right in front of me: the hand I need. Here I am, provided for, in unexpected ways.
I sometimes wonder where God is. I ask the question in as reverent a way as possible, doubting if it’s okay for me to ask such a question, but also wanting honesty and authenticity to guide this relationship…so I conclude that I have to ask it.
So, where are you? I ask.
I want God to meet me in my space: in the questions, the doubt, the fear, the frustrating conversations, the unmet expectations, the hope that feels like it’s waning.
But then I wonder: is it God meeting me, or am I supposed to be meeting God?
Genesis 3:9-10 “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.”
God asks the same question to me as I ask of him: where are you, Alyssa?
I don’t have a moral of the story here, or a conclusion. I don’t know if the point of that passage is supposed to show me that I’m hiding in the garden afraid, or that God is on the move looking for us, or if it’s all about the shame that humankind brought upon itself when it ate of the forbidden fruit (and that shame isn’t God-given, it was a result of sin and broken trust).
Maybe there’s comfort in knowing that God seeks after us, asking us where we are, just as we ask it of him. Maybe it gives me hope that God is looking for me, just as I’m looking for him, wondering how we meet and walk the road together. And maybe there’s comfort too, that God is never surprised by what he finds in us. Shame isn’t something God ever wanted, and maybe I am learning about meeting him without shame, without fear.
So, I’m holding tightly to his hand, and we’ll walk this road together. We will walk slowly, of this I am sure. I’ll keep asking him where he is, and maybe he’s also asking me the same question. I trust that I’ll find him, and that he’ll find me (without any of the theological controversies of who is finding whom). I think I’ll keep asking the question as I hold his hand, all the more tighter. And I trust, I hope, that he’s holding tightly to me too.