“And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, ‘Where art thou?” Genesis 3:9
Startled, urgent, and immediate are words that come to mind when you’ve got to ‘stop dead in your tracks’, and take stock. It happens, usually after some cataclysmic and jolting event or episode in health, finance, family, career or spiritual matter that halts our normal activity, suddenly. A health setback, physical calamity, loss of possessions, financial fall-out, death in the immediate family, professional occurrence, or spiritual crossroads are all stop-dead and take stock events.
Back in the day, in the Garden of Eden, there was a “stop-dead-in-your tracks”, take stock event. Adam and Eve sinned and were in the garden secluded and hiding and estranged among the trees. God calls out, “Where are you, Adam?”. Biblical expositors use one Hebrew word, ayeka for “Where are you”, and it is the only time that ayeka is used in the Torah. Adam was hiding from God not merely physically, but emotionally and spiritually. God’s ayeka query was meant for Adam’s benefit, and not God’s, for God had no need to know where Adam was. This text is NOT so much about location as it is about God’s rescue of Adam. Adam and Eve banished God by their actions but God comes looking for them, asking the question to begin an educational process. They had brought the veil of darkness down, around about themselves as the result of their prior actions. Clothed in fig leaves and hiding, they now know their condition, as they ‘stopped dead in their tracks” to assess.
Have you ever had occasion to ‘stop dead in your tracks”, to pause, assess, and to take stock, to ponder, wonder, think deeply and calculate, to learn from the past and present, and then to act? If you have had an emotional setback, “fret not thyself”; if there has been a health event, “know you not that your body is the temple of God?” If it has been a financial matter, “lay not up for yourselves treasures where moth and rust corrupt”; if it has been spiritual, “let not your heart be troubled, for in my father’s house are many mansions”. It is not the man that gets knocked down in life that perishes, but he who fails to get up, to assess his/her situation and to take some decisive action. God is constantly reconciling and redeeming us unto Himself, trying to get us back to square one, for the work of education and redemption says writer Ellen G. White, is one work. Where are you? Your response comes back in muted Hebrew, “Heneini”, I am here Lord; I have heard thy voice. Draw me nearer in thy precious arms, writes Fanny Crosby,