I have started a study of people “at the well” in the bible. The first reference in the bible to a well is in Genesis 16. There had been conflict between the pregnant Hagar and Sarai. After a time Hagar could bear her trying and painful circumstances no longer and she fled into the desert.
Beer-lahai-roi – well of the Living One who sees me
Genesis 16:7 – The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert
The Bible is filled with many exhortations to seek the Lord but that doesn’t mean that He Himself doesn’t seek us out. In fact, this most likely is an exhortation to imitate our Father (Eph 5:1). We see Him lovingly seeking mankind out even from the beginning when He called out, “Adam, where are you?”
I don’t believe that God is seeking mankind out regarding a physical place. It’s not as if the All-Knowing-God doesn’t know where they are. I think He is rather asking the question in terms of their spiritual position. They were no longer in His presence. They had lost themselves. We can only find our true selves in God. We are made in His image and He is our only true reference point.
He asked Adam, “Where are you?” He asked Elijah when He fled into the wilderness in 1 Kings 19:9, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” Here at the well, He asks, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” God asks this question to those He seeks out, not for Himself but for the person He is seeking out, so that they can realize that they are lost and reposition themselves in His Presence. In His wonderful grace and love, He positions Himself right there in front of them. And in Him being there and them encountering Him, seeing Him, they are easily repositioned. They find their home. They find themselves.
When you are going through a difficult time and you feel out of control and lost, know He is seeking you out and asking you the question, “Where are you?” If you try to answer this question in relation to your natural circumstances, you will remain lost. Instead realize that your Father is asking you where you are in relation to Him, His Presence. In your pain and uncertainty have you withdrawn from your beginning, your source of all good, of life itself? He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. And in the question, He is presenting Himself to you as your answer, that you might find yourself again in His loving embrace.