MAY 15, 2020 FRIDAYThey heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, 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
St. Augustine says our hearts are restless. We won’t find peace until we rest in God. So religion, faith is a quest to find God and know peace.
All seems to be fine in the Garden, until the Lord gives an order — “all is yours to enjoy, but hands off that tree.” It’s like the cookie jar — “hands off.” You keep hearing cookies call to you. You cannot resist what you desire and can’t have. You and I get to choose. God’s new humans made a choice. Now they want to be left alone, thinking they can hide behind some trees. Somehow I suspect the Lord of creation, knows just where to look. The Lord calls to the man, “Where are you?”
Do you struggle to find God, know God, follow what you’re told to do? Is your heart restful and at peace in God? Pray, read the Bible, go to church (when it reopens), serve others. “Where are you?” is a question we ask God. “How do I find You?” I try, fail and fail again. A certain heart-restlessness keeps churning.
Where do you find God these days? Is it hard to find peace, joy, gentleness, love, and the other fruits of the spirit that indicate you’re on the right path? Maybe God waits, letting you be found by Him – your desire, your willingness to rest in Him? We know God by abiding in Jesus, as Jesus abides in the Father. Are you willing to be known by God – just as you are? God found you long ago, before you ever yearned to find Him. God knows you, as you are. And loves you enough to never let you hide, or stay lost. From before God created the world, God already had a plan to find you, knowing you and I would play a game of hide and seek with Him. The challenge is to accept that you are found, loved, forgiven, and restored in the incarnate One who is from before the beginning. Just stop and rest in the Lord. God longs for you to let him bring you home. So relax, breathe, let it sink in. You’re already there.
When we stray from God, turn up our noses up at God’s ordering of this world and our lives, the hard lesson Jesus came to Julian of Norwich to teach her in a series of revelations, The Showings — “All will be well and all will be well and every kind of thing shall be well.” Jesus finally convinces her that divine love finds us, lifts us and brings us home. As a spiritual director once confronted me, “Steve, all is well. You just don’t know it yet.”Peace, in knowing Love never loses you, and all is well, Fr Steve