When God Asks the Question: Where Are You?

There are things I know.
There are things I forget.
There are things I need to remember.
And so, so often those things I need to remember
are the very things I oh-so-conveniently forget.
This is one of them:
God sees me.
No matter where I am,
no matter what I am doing,
no matter how I am feeling,
God sees me.

But God is not forcefully invasive,
God does not pound me over the head,
God does not shake me to break me.
God, the omipotent, omnipresent One,
God who is beyond my understanding,
beyond my ability to conceptualize,
beyond me –
this One comes to the garden in the evening,
gently looking under leaves and branches,
and calls out in a soft and loving voice,
“Where are you?” 

“Where are you?”

From the earliest pages of our scriptures,
God seeks us out.
Yet God pays us the immense privilege of respecting
our boundaries,
our choices,
our very selves,
because…God waits for us to answer.
It’s as simple – and as complicated – as that.
Simple because…God desires a relationship,
a real, honest, open relationship with us.
Complicated because…we’re not at all sure we’re
ready for that.
So we hide.
We stitch ourselves a handy-dandy little coat of fig leaves
and we hide ourselves away.
Ashamed, embarrassed, angry, lonely, fearful –
whatever emotional stew we are cooking in at any given moment – 
we convince ourselves that God couldn’t possibly
want us in the middle of that mess.
So we withdraw.
We learn to numb ourselves.
We shut the doors of our hearts and we stand aloof.
And all the time,
God whispers,
“Where are you?
Where are you?” 

And all the time, 
the only answer God wants is:
“Here I am, Lord. Here I am.”
Here I am.
In the middle of my mood,
in the middle of my sin,
in the middle of my fear.

So today, today, Lord – here I am.
Tired, worried, uncertain, longing for you.
Working my way through hurt feelings, wounded pride, 
ugly jealousies and insecurities, doubts
that creep in and around and threaten to undo me.
Wondering if you’re there, wondering if you hear me,
wondering if you see me, wondering if I am enough.
Here I am.
“Everyone needs compassion, 
love that’s never failing. 
Let mercy fall on me.
Everyone needs forgiveness, 
the kindness of a Savior. 
The hope of nations.”
I sing it from the bottom of my heart this morning,
deeply thankful that you invite me to be with you,
no matter what shape I’m in,
no matter how messed up I am,
no matter what.

With heartfelt thanks to Pastor Don Johnson, Bob Gross and the worship team, our small group friends who call me to honesty and openness. 
Yesterday’s worship service was wonderfully rich, 
and I look forward to every single sermon in this new series: 
“When God Asks the Questions.”
Joining today with Michelle DeRusha at Graceful for her weekly invitation to, “Hear It on Sunday, Use It on Monday,” and with Jen at FindingHeaven and the solideogloria sisterhood and also with that trio of talented ladies who invite us to share Scripture and a Snapshot each week:

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  1. Diana, would you consider writing a guest post for me based on the comment you left on Deidra’s blog about your house? It’s terrific, and it would work as a nice follow-up to the other info you said I cold use in my blog.


  2. Your words are beautiful and so very true. So thankful I clicked over here!

    “He waits for us to answer” no matter what condition we are in…he simply wants us to come to Him!

  3. I love it that he does take us just where we are: in the midst of worry, hurt feelings that have turned to bitterness, anger….He never turns us away. We serve such a loving God.

  4. This, Diana, I absolutely believe this: “Yet God pays us the immense privilege of respecting
    our boundaries,
    our choices,
    our very selves,
    because…God waits for us to answer.”

    It took me, oh, 30-something years to answer. He is patient. Praise God!

  5. Yep, so last night we read out of our Jesus Calling for Kids devo book and it talked about talking to Jesus before we set out to do the work for the day. And, of course, I did not heed that advice at all. And I realized a few hours into the day that I didn’t trust Him to help me get it all done. And after that, I was able to repent and give Him it all, minute by minute.

  6. “… wondering if I am enough.” I stopped short at that phrase, Diana. I know God is always ready to meet me wherever I am, listening for my response, but I think it is my own insecurities that interfere with the communication.

    Something more to think about. Thanks for this. 🙂

  7. I am appreciating more and more God’s love..so unlike our love. I value His waiting,not forcing. Always giving us a choice..I want to know more of this love.

  8. Diana! I just came from Nancy’s and read your comment! {{screammmm!}} Are you really? Coming? No hiding behind the fig leaves for you! I am so excited to finally get to meet you in person. Texas is going to be so wonderful this year.

  9. Yes, God has asked me the question, too. A question He knows the answer to, but wants me to hear me answer — like you said, because He wants a relationship with me. Oh, how good this post is!

  10. In the midst of a very trying week where I have not been at my best, I so, so needed this.

    He still wants me. He’ll always want me.

    Oh, thank you, Diana. Bless you.

  11. How lovely to see all of you lovely friends here tonight, as I sit in my daughter’s family room – here to spend the night before picking up my mom tomorrow to bring her up to Santa Barbara for the long holiday weekend.

    Yes, Linda – I will be happy to do a guest post for you. I’ll email you later tonight or tomorrow.

    Thanks you Eileen and Shanda for stopping by and saying such kind things.

    Michelle, I am so grateful that you DID say yes and so enjoy watching your journey through the cyber waves.

    And thank you, Jen, Carol, Tiffini, Pamela and Sheila for your encouragement and for sharing that what I said was an encouragement to you.

    And YES, Laura, I am coming to Texas. I am TERRIFIED and excited and astounded that this has worked out as it has. Feels a whole lot like a God thing. And I really look forward to seeing you in the flesh, too. VERY cool to actually see some virtual friends in the same place and time zone. Thank you all for stopping by!

  12. This is a breathtaking post. May I say, “Here I am.” Thank you for your honesty! I can see why Michelle included you in her round-up!