"Where were you?" my husband asked as I came back into the house. I had forgotten to let him know I was going outside to the mailboxes to pick up the mail, and got involved in chatting with my neighbor.|
"I didn't know where you were," he said with concern. He had suddenly looked up from his reading and realized I wasn't there! After 64 years together, Tom and I are hardly ever out of hearing distance from each other.
Although I wasn't hiding from my husband like Adam and Eve did with God, I was still reminded of their plight when the Lord called to Adam, "Where are you?"
"And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. "Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, 'Where are you?'"
Do you yearn for that same closeness Adam and Eve had with their Creator before they sinned and fell from grace? Even so, just as God knew where they were, so He continues to know our whereabouts and to seek us out if we try to hide from Him! Father God even provided His Son, Jesus, as the ultimate sacrifice so we can know Him and respond accordingly, as stated by the "Shorter Westminster Confession":
"Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever."
Surely our prayers should reflect this. We can go into that "secret place" (in Greek, it's translated as "private room") that Matthew tells us about.
"But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." (Matthew 6:6)
I remember my family had a walk-in clothes closet, where we could actually go in and close the door. On a shelf sat the traditional Byzantine icon of the namesake of the head of the home; in my family it was St. George on a horse, depicting the "Slaying of the Dragons." The "room" was lit by an "eternal flame," a candlewick floating in a red glass of oil and water. Next to this was placed the brass incense holder in which the fragrance of a bit of frankincense resin burned on a small rounded, quick-burning charcoal. After the routine Saturday house cleaning earlier, it would be carried through each room of the house with prayers, a fragrant sweet-smelling offering to the Lord to bless the house and all its occupants and those who would enter therein. The closet was always available for quiet secluded prayer.
In praying, our "secret room" can also be as a less literal interpretation of scripture, any place away from interruption and distraction, by ourselves, or even in the midst of a crowd. With Jesus' deep, loving presence at our side, there is always opportunity to develop our closeness with Him wherever we may be. Surely our intimacy with God is not limited by our environment. His truths can reach us in our own "secret room" as we abandon our own desires in submission to what God desires for us.
God need never ask us, "Where are you?" For, of course, He is forever with us!
© Constance Vanides
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© Constance Vanides