But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
The above sentence is from Genesis 3. Satan had tempted, Eve had fallen, and now humanity was in hiding. Even in their hiding, their God was looking for them.
We can read that passage and think, “My goodness, if God was looking for them, why were they hiding?” Yet, we do the same thing. So frequently.
Maybe this scene is as familiar to you as it is to me. I fall, and I enjoy it in the moment. But the second the sin ends or the gravity of what I’ve done strikes, I feel like I must keep my distance from God. In these moments, my unworthiness and brokenness shines so brightly that it’s like a spotlight is highlighting my sin.
And so, I find myself, much like the first two humans on this planet, in hiding from God.
“I have to be better! I have to get some distance from my sin! I have to work and show him that I really do love him, even though I was so stupid.” We act as if we have to clean ourselves up and shape up a little bit more before returning to following Christ, before we confess. To just run straight into his arms seems hypocritical to us, so we hide and wait for a little distance to come.
Yet, this whole time, God is calling and asking, “Where are you?”
In Isaiah 43, Isaiah the Prophet is speaking the words of God to God’s people, Israel. Israel was unfaithful, yet God was merciful. He wanted to save them in spite of their sin, and in words of love, told them (verse 1),
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”
Even in Israel’s sinfulness, God didn’t want them hiding or afraid. He wanted them to know that they had been redeemed, and that he was calling them out by name. He wanted them to know that even while broken, they were still his.
In his book The Mingling of Souls, Matt Chandler writes,
“What made me love Christ wasn’t that all of a sudden I figured out how to do life. What made me love Christ is that when I was at my worst, when I was at my lowest point, when I absolutely could not clean myself up and there was nothing anybody could do with me, right at that moment, Christ said, ‘I’ll take that one. That’s the one I want.’”
If we have been saved by the blood of Jesus and know him as our beautiful Savior, we are free to come out of hiding. Yes, we should strive for holiness and hate our sin. Yet, as long as we are humans bound to this planet, sin will be in our lives; let us remember that we are redeemed and flee it. But, when we fall, may we stop hiding from God, and instead, run straight into the arms of the One who is calling us by name, the One who calls us His.