2nd March 2023

Where were you?

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.”
Job 38:4 (NIV)

There we were, chatting away, myself, my three-year-old granddaughter and other members of the family. We were looking at some photographs. There was one of my daughter when she was young. My granddaughter thought it was her (peas in a pod). ‘That’s not you,’ I said, ‘that’s your mother when she was little.’ Then she asked the question: ‘Where was I?’ Even after some attempt at explaining back came the refrain, ‘But where was I?’ We could see her young mind struggling with the profound nature of the question she’d raised.

On reflection, I realised what an amazing question that is. Of course, young children have asked the same, (I would say inspired), questions for millennia. I recall adults responding to similar questions when I was young: ‘You were a twinkle in your mother’s eye’ or ‘You were a little bird – a sparrow’ (theologically questionable!).

The concept, or dimension, of time is fascinating, and the ‘Where was I?’ before birth question certainly gives pause for thought. This is not to question God’s omnipotence and the Christian doctrine of creation from nothing. Like all of us, my granddaughter struggled to grasp the mind- blowing marvel of human life, creation and existence. It’s interesting to read in the Book of Psalms:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:13-14,16).

It may not be unusual to think of life after death and what happens to us, but human existence itself is a challenge to all our thinking, even the very young. It reminds me of the scripture:

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,
“ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” Matthew 21:16)

We have an awesome Creator, the magnitude of whom we cannot grasp, but one who we are asked, in Romans 15:13, to trust: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ He can inspire young children to ask deep and profound questions which point to His glory. He can, will, and does use ordinary people, by word and deed, to proclaim who He is. That’s us.

What an awesome Creator God you are. We ask for your divine guidance to honour and praise you, and to be childlike in our response to our calling, willing to do your will as opposed to our own. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

Study by Kevin Harris


About the writer:
Kevin Harris attends the Watford congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local congregation:
Gracecom Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
WD24 7HF

Local congregational contact:
George Henderson
Email:  watford@gracecom.church 

Word of Life contact: