Mistakes. We all make them. Even hearing that word or seeing it written out will probably bring a not-so-fun memory to your mind. Although I am still at the ripe age of 28, I have been learning that it is not your mistakes that define you, but what you do after you have made one. It is what shapes your character and it is how the deepest places, insecurities and fears within you get brought to the surface.
Ironically enough in Genesis 3 we see the first “mistake” in mankind’s history. Adam and Eve eat from the ONE tree they were not supposed to. And what is their response? They makeshift clothes out of fig leaves and attempt to hide from God. I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate. When I have messed up or let someone down, intentionally or unintentionally, everything in me wants to run home, curl in a ball and hide from the people I hurt and even from God. It is usually our first instinct, our natural sin response that is made out of our flesh and not the Spirit. If we run away maybe it will go away, or people will just move on and forget about it.
But God, in his great mercy, does not come storming down from heaven with his legion of angels and shame, condemn or judge Adam and Eve. Instead, he decides to take a little walk through this magnificent garden in search of his children. Then we see him ask a simple question, “Where are you?” Let’s just pause right there. The God of the Universe stops to a basic three word, yet profound question. Of course he knows where they are! In every sense of the word God knows where they are physically, emotionally and spiritually. He knows exactly what they have done, but instead of tearing them from a place they perceive to be “safe,” he invites them out of hiding. He invites them to break free from their shame and guilt, and while this might not be theologically sound, I think he wanted Adam and Eve to join in on his walk.
Friends, no matter what you have done, or what you are struggling with, God knows exactly where you are. He is not a God that will force you out of hiding in order to prove a point or cast blame, but instead, He loves you enough to wait until you are ready to take a walk with him. When we have messed up or we are embarrassed, we believe that the safest place is in hiding and isolation from those we have hurt. He knows where you are, but wants it to be your choice. It is not your mistakes that define you, but what you chose to do with them. He is inviting you out of your bondage and lies. He is a God of reconciliation. So come out of hiding and answer the first question we ever see God ask, “Where are you?”