Did you know that Jesus was asked 183 questions in the three short years of His ministry?

He answered just 3, but went on to ask 307. 307!

Some might say that Jesus would’ve made a good politician with that approach, but that’s not what’s going on here. Jesus asks questions because He wants people to think, discover, admit, and change.

We don’t tend to change by being told we’re wrong.

We tend to change if we’re invited to think afresh, and that’s what questions do.

No wonder God asks SO many of them throughout the biblical story (although even Google doesn’t seem to know the exact number of questions God asks).

God’s first question is found in Genesis 3:9.

Adam and Eve have been duped by Satan – even in the midst of God’s beautiful Eden. Satan causes them to doubt that God is good. Doubting God leads to disliking God. Disliking God leads to disobeying God. Disobeying immediately damages all their relationships (with God, each other, creation and even how they feel about themselves).

They’re afraid. Naked. Ashamed. And so they try to hide as God comes looking for them (ps: don’t you LOVE that God always comes looking for us, even when we hide from Him).

“Where are you?”

There it is! The first divine question.
And remember, God’s not asking because He doesn’t know the answer.
God knows exactly where Adam and Eve are at, and what they’re battling with.
And the answer He’s looking for is not simply, “We’re behind the bush!”
God’s question seeks to trigger thinking, and discovery, and admission around the location of the heart, rather than the location of the body.

How would you answer God’s question today?

“Where are YOU?”

I am ________. <You fill in the blank>
Fine? Maybe think a little deeper.
Disappointed? Weary? Discouraged? Battling? Overwhelmed? Anxious?

This past month or so I could have filled that blank with a whole bunch of words. Some good words, some far from good. That’s probably true for all of us, right? Life is a mix of good, bad and ugly – often disproportionately.

So, where are you?
Right now. In this moment.
Be real with yourself. With God. He asks because He cares.
He asks because He longs for you to come out, come close, come home.

Through thinking, discovering, and admitting, perhaps we’ll be brave enough to give up our self-salvation and self-preservation projects. To dare to place our timid trust once more in the nailed-scarred hands of the One whose relentless, eternal, burning love for us promises to bring relief from fear, and rally hope again.

I wish that worked like a switch. It doesn’t. It’s a daily choice.

I’ve recently started a new spiritual practice.

To sit at the chair on the far right. Close my eyes. Imagine Jesus sitting next to me. For a moment, we both sit in the stillness. I take some deep breaths, reminding myself that this is a safe, sacred, divine space with Him. And then in my thoughts, He asks that question – “Where are you?” – and I take some time to search my soul and come clean. Then, pause. Sometimes nothing else happens. Just the sense of letting go. But sometimes, He whispers back.

Maybe this spiritual practice might help you too?

Wherever you are in life right now, I pray the strength and comfort, joy and hope, healing and wholeness that He alone can provide.