“Charley! Where are you?”
At first, we weren’t worried. Our black Labrador loved nothing better than to race through the forest alongside us on the dusty path, sniffing rabbit trails, and experiencing life to the full. But where was she?
Still no answer. Not even a faraway scurrying through bushes and thick undergrowth. Besides the lonely call of a cuckoo and the softly swaying trees, I heard nothing.
Something was wrong. Our furry friend never behaved like this.
I left the path and fought my way through man-sized ferns, prickly thorn bushes, and over nasty, gnarled tree roots, shouting her name at the top of my voice.
An unfamiliar yelp in the distance caught my attention.
Was that our dog? My heart racing, I kept on going until I stumbled upon a curious pool. Not a lake, not a place where you sit at the shore and watch geese flying over and you are reminded of the everlasting waters of God’s Word.
No, this reservoir was man-made. Dark, deep, with a peculiar, unnatural elevation. And there, desperately trying to climb over the rubber bank of this pool, was our exhausted animal. It seemed she was about ready to give up. But then, when she saw me coming, her miserable howls changed into gurgles of doggy joy. I was able to pull her to safety and how happy we both were on our way back to the path from which she had strayed.
“Charley, where are you?”
It reminded me of when God was calling for His friend in the Garden of Eden.
“Adam! Where are you?”
Adam didn’t fall into a man-made pool. He ate from the forbidden tree and brought the curse of sin upon the world. And along came God, walking in the cool of the day, desiring fellowship but not finding any, because His friends weren’t there.
Unlike me with my dog, God knew where Adam and Eve were hiding. Still, the pain He experienced must have been much greater than mine. His beloved friends were hiding from Him.
God is still calling today. He’s still uttering the same words. He’s calling each one of us daily.
When I read these words, I now put my own name in there. That makes it personal. I’m not trying to hide from God, but I occasionally fall short, and the good news is that God forgives me and He still longs to talk to me in the cool of the day, just as He did with Adam.