“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” This is probably one of Shakespeare’s best known lines even for those who haven’t read any Shakespeare. At first glance it looks as if Juliet is asking where Romeo is…like “Hey, Romeo, where are you?” But if you know the play at all, she’s not asking where, she’s asking why. But because of the differences in English in the 16th century and English in the 21st century, we’ve misused this phrase time and again. Think about it. Have you ever lost something (or someone) and quoted a similar line? “Oh checkbook, checkbook! Wherefore art thou checkbook?” When we can’t find something we call out to these inanimate objects as if they had ears. “Where are you, keys?” “Where are you, purse?”
Let me ask you a weird question. Do you think God ever calls out to you like this? Does He ever call out to you, “Where are you?” He did this very thing in the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve blew it by eating the fruit from the forbidden tree. After they did what He specifically told them not to, they were ashamed and they hid. So God called out to Adam, “Where are you?” Did God really not know where Adam was? Did He really lose Adam somewhere in the Garden? No, not at all. He knew exactly where Adam was. So why did God ask such an odd question?
I think the purpose of God’s question was to get Adam to come clean with his answer…out loud. I think He wanted Adam to wrestle with the question on a deeper lever than just physical location. I think God posed the question to Adam in more of a spiritual sense than a physical sense. Both Old and New Testaments record God (or Jesus) asking some really poignant questions to various people. And the thing is, He knew the answers, but I think He wanted them to wrestle with the questions as well. Furthermore, I think God asks us really poignant questions from time to time too. I think He wants us to wrestle with these questions. I think He wants us to dig deeper than the surface of the question. And I think He wants to give us an opportunity to answer…out loud.
If God asked you today, “Where are you”, how would you answer? (Not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense…)
- God, I’m right here, I’ve just been a little too busy to visit with You lately
- God, I was in church last Sunday, didn’t you see me there?
- God, I’m around, but my life is sort of a mess right now, so I’m putting You on hold until I get things figured out
- God, I’m totally hiding out from You because I have blown it time after time and I know you’re probably very disappointed in me
- God, to be perfectly honest, I’m a little ticked off at You, therefore I don’t want anything to do with You
- God, I’m running as fast and as far away from You as I can because You have let me down one too many times
- God, stop asking me such difficult questions
I think the question God asked Adam so many years ago is still valid today. God went “looking” for Adam after he blew it because He still desired a relationship with Him. God so desires a relationship with us as well, even when we blow it. And so He asks…“Where are you?” He knows the answer. He knows you inside and out. He loves you inside and out. But, He wants you to wrestle with His questions on a deeper level than just the surface. He wants to hear your honest answer…out loud. Do you hear Him calling?