Advent ~Three~

When my son, Casey, was three years old, he hid behind a tree in the neighbor’s front yard.  I called and called….”Casey, where are you?”  I was on the verge of panic when he gave away his hiding place with a little giggle.  It was one of those moments when anger and knee weakening relief coursed through me at the same time. Should I spank him or hug him?  I hugged him and then he received a good scolding!

In today’s Advent reading, Adam and Eve were hiding from their Lord God.   Genesis 3:6-9 tells us that in the cool of the evening, God took a stroll through the garden. He called out to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” He wanted them to know He was looking for them, even though He knew why they were hiding and exactly where they were. 

He asks the same question of me…”Jeralyn, where are you?”   He wants me to know He is searching for me.  And when I’m at my worst He still comes looking for me, seeking my presence and fellowship.  God, The Pursuer…

This is my favorite paragraph from today in “The Greatest Gift”…
“In all humanity’s religions, man reaches after God.
But in all His relationships, God reaches for man.
Reaches for you who have fallen and scraped your heart raw, for you who feel the shame of words that have snaked off your tongue and poisoned the corners of your life, for you who keep trying to cover up pain with perfectionism.”

There have been times of spiritual dryness in my life…I call it the dark night of the soul.  For many years I tried hiding in the performance routine to “fix” the lostness and confusion I was experiencing.  Be nicer, read my Bible more, pray more, go to church more, give more money, be the perfect wife, mother, employee… oh my….the list goes on and on.  Needless to say, none of it worked.

When I had finally worn myself out and had nothing left to give or do….I gave up…I came out of hiding. I quit struggling and quit striving.  I chose to be at peace with who I was and where I was in my spiritual life. The good, the bad, the ugly….warts and all. 

You see, Advent is Latin for “coming.”  Advent is about His coming for you and me because He loves us.  He knows when we’re lost, in pain and confused and He comes to rescue us.

Psalm 18:16-19 The Message Bible
But me he caught—reached all the way
  from sky to sea, he pulled me out
Of that ocean of hate, that enemy chaos,
  the void in which I was drowning.
They hit me when I was down,
  but God stuck by me.
He stood me up on a wide-open field;
  I stood there saved—surprised to be loved!