As a result of the fire that we experienced last year, most of the vegetation we had around our house died. A very dear friend has beautifully designed and replaced what was lost and has created new spaces that have greatly increased the landscape of our lawn. As the weather has warmed up and the rains have decreased, he called to remind us of the importance of watering the new plant life to increase the potential for growth and survival. In the message he left on our voice mail he said, "You'll want to do this in the cool of the evening."

Trying to be a good steward and follow his instructions, I purchased a new water hose (the old one had suffered major damage as well) and have begun to water the plants. Most days, I try to follow his instructions and do this in the cool of the evening. Schedules, however, do not always allow that, so there are days that I do it in the cool of the morning. (I hope that is okay.)

Whether morning or evening, as I have stood in the middle of a flower bed or near a patch of freshly sewn grass with a gentle flow of water from the hose, I have been reminded not only of my friend's instructions to do this. I have also thought about what is said in Scripture:

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:8-9 NIV).

Reflecting on those words, my two thoughts on this have blossomed.

First, it is sad and foolish that we try to hide from the Lord God. There are no trees in my Garden (yard) big enough to hide behind, even if I wanted to. And even if there were, do I really think that the One who created me, the garden, and the trees, could not see me or find me? But there apparently were really big trees in God's original garden. The man in the garden reveals his reasons for hiding. "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." (Genesis 3:10) The man and the woman had lost the innocence of the Garden and the purity of the relationship with the Creator. In his immaturity and foolishness, they apparently decided, "We cannot let the Lord God know what we have done."

We do the same thing, don't we? Whether in the cool of the day, or mid afternoon, we often find ourselves hiding from God. We've disobeyed the Creator of the Universe. We've dishonored Him. We've strayed from His teaching. We've justified our sinful behavior. We've lost sight of our value in God's eyes and presumed that we have found a better way to live. We've chosen to set aside His plan for us and we have lied to cover it up.

Stop trying to hide.
Then, we hear Him walking in the garden and calling to us, "Where are you?" We are afraid. So, we hide. You can almost hear the astonishment and sadness in God's response: "What is this you have done?" (Genesis 3:13)

Second, God wants to be with us. God came looking for the man. He wanted to know, "Where are you?" He was created to be with God in the Garden. That was the plan. That is still the plan. The cool of the day is a wonderful time, not to hide from the Lord God, but to be with Him. So is high noon and midnight. When He created the first man and the first woman, He was pleased with His work and described it as very good. Throughout history through His prophets, and eventually through His son, God has continued to express His desire to be with us, to walk with us where we are. That has not changed.

Today, whether you are in your garden, on the job, experiencing a time of sickness, going through a trial, in a dry and desert place, climbing a mountain peak, or trapped in sin, God is still asking, "Where are you?"

Don't be afraid. Stop trying to hide. Remember, if He created that tree you're hiding behind, He can probably move it if He wants to.

It's still the cool part of the day. The plants need water, and I need to be where God is.