“Looking for the God Who is Looking for Us – an Early Advent Meditation”
“Hi. It’s Me, your God. Today I wanted to simply share something fun and amazing that you might not have considered. My child, I live simultaneously outside and inside of time. I see up ahead in your story. So, I get to enjoy your exciting, exhilarating, heroic, and amusing moments before you step into them. I get to drink their goodness in more than once. You have the experience itself and the memory of it. I get to experience the event, carry the memory of it, and experience the event before it happens. Pretty cool, huh? Anyway, I just wanted you to know that there are some supremely good moments up ahead. That’s all. I love you. – See Romans 11:33-36” (Excerpt from Trust for Today).
I just read the above excerpt from one of my devotionals and thought I would weave in an early Advent meditation for us. At least for me, the piece above and the upcoming Advent season (Advent begins Nov.27) seems to fit. That is, if the Advent season is about anticipating and then celebrating the first and second coming of Jesus, then it is true for us, that we have some “supremely good moments up ahead”! It can be hard to remember to joyfully anticipate the good times that are awaiting us, right? Things don’t even have to be going “bad” for our premature amnesia to settle in upon us. The lack of anticipating His Coming Joy can simply hover over us unintentionally as we get so busy with the tasks of everyday life. Distractions. Duties. Deadlines. The dailyness of it all adds up. And then we fail to look up, or at least look ahead to the good stuff. Let me close with what I hope to be an encouraging thought for you. In my sermon preparation a few weeks back, I came across an idea from writer Curt Thompson. He said, “We all come into the world looking for someone who is looking for us.” This spoke to me on so many levels, but let’s apply it to our Advent season. Advent is a time of looking. We are looking for, longing for the Coming of our Lord. Is it possible, on some level, when Jesus returns, He will be looking for those of us who will be looking for Him? I think so. On a more personal level, this idea relates to each of us who were created with a need to be seen. That is, when we came into this world as little babies, as our sight begins to develop, we are looking for someone who is looking for us. Mom. Dad. Brother. Sister. Grandmas and Grandpas. There is a sense of delight and security in the baby that knows it is “attached” to someone who is looking for them. Love. Relationship. The enjoyment of being enjoyed. I think all of that can be celebrated and anticipated during Advent season. The challenge this Advent season, as in any Advent season, is to let ourselves be seen, known, and loved precisely because we have been seen and known and then loved. Notice the “we” is italicized. Why? God can only love us, who we are, not some idealized version of who we long to be. He can’t love a phantom ideal self that doesn’t exist. When God sees it all, sees us all, even before we “step into” who we are and what we will do with our lives, He sees us, knows us, and loves us. Sadly, one of the things I most actively repent of, is my reluctance to believe that Jesus loves me not because I have it all together or have had a good day, but simply because He has chosen to love me because of Jesus (John 17:23; Rom.5:8; Gal.2:20). When I do repent of this unbelief and experience His amazing grace, I am able to trust Him and enjoy the love of the One who is looking for me, looking for Him. It changes everything. Joy to the world! The Lord has and is coming. Will we be looking? I hope so!