In my church lifegroup, we have been discussing Advent; and one thing that has continually come up is the humility in which God came to man.
If anyone had the right to come with power and authority, blazing in the sky, demanding we pay attention to him—well, it would be God. The one who spoke the universe into being with a word, the one who created us…became a baby. Laid in straw, surrounded by animals, with lowly shepherds as the first heralds of his birth. The humility of that, that God lowered himself to cast aside any barriers of fear—so no one could feel too worthless or too low or too poor to approach Jesus.
Amazing. This is the God who took on flesh—a precious invitation, not a demand—so we could all draw near.
Then I realized: God had taken on flesh again—in my life, particularly last Wednesday. With a couple of tough days, I had begun to feel alone and isolated. When I have bad days, it is hard for me to feel God—to sense his presence, to hear his voice, to find comfort in him. I try, I do; but that cut-off feeling often remains.
I had begun asking God for people to initiate deeper relationship with me, so that I would not feel so alone. And it wasn’t until last Wednesday night, as I was talking to my mom, when she said: “It sounds like he did that today.” And I stopped, and I thought—and it hit me.
At a time when I couldn’t feel God, at a time I couldn’t find comfort in him, he once again took on flesh. He sent three specific people to reach into my life that day.
One was a message from a friend I haven’t seen in 20 years, asking how he could pray for me.
One was a fellow-LPC Intern who said, “Let’s get coffee and talk today,” and we did.
One was a friend from college who wrote me that day and said, “Let’s do lunch soon!”
And I realized: God answered my prayer. Not just the prayer for relationships, but the prayer to feel his love. While I was unable to connect with him, he sent three people–in addition to family and others who bless me–to be his representatives that day. And in those interactions, I heard him: “You are not alone. And even if you can’t feel my presence, I’m going to send three people to make sure you know: you are loved; I Am with you; and I care enough to send people to tell you that.”
Once again, the humility of this—God has every right to wait around until I can feel him again. He could demand I try harder, tell me to have more faith; he could be impatient with my ‘weakness.’ But instead, just like Christmas, he showed initiating love. He drew near and met me where I was—he became God in flesh, humble enough to comfort and love me through others.
So I leave you with a couple of thoughts: Are there times God has taken on flesh in your life lately? And how can we reach out and be God-in-flesh to others? Let’s not forsake the privilege of being the hands and feet—and love-representatives—of God.