“We are Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We plead with you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God.”

2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV

Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and hid, so the story goes. God came to spend time with them, as was His practice, and could not find them, so the story goes. He called for them, asked them where they were, and reluctantly, they came forward, ashamed, so the story goes. But when God asked them what they had done, they hid again, this time through shifting blame, so the story goes. And then there was distance, and God’s heart broke, so the story goes.

You’re hiding this morning, darling. You’ve been hiding a long time, and God only knows why.

I have to confess, I was hiding, too, until recently. Not from God so much as everyone else. Whether you meant to or not, you drew me out. Yeah, you. I couldn’t believe it, either. Suddenly, I found the courage to go after what I want and deserve, to say what’s on my heart, to take risks and not be afraid of failure.

You used it against me. You might use this against me.

But I don’t get to hide anymore, even if you do. My heart open before the God of the universe, and He wants it to be open before other people, too. Including you. All of it has to be open. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I didn’t mean to show you so much – or any – of the ugly, but for some reason you needed to see it.

And now you need to see how much I care about you. I care about you, okay? Do what you want with that. I was about to say I’m not scared of you or anything you can do to me, but that’s not true. I am a little scared you might use this to hurt me (and you do have that ability, believe it or not) – just … not scared enough to not tell you.

But my care for you is not what’s going to bring your heart out of hiding. I’m not that powerful.

So I’m here to tell you that God is calling you this morning, asking you where you are. He’s been calling you for a long time. He knows everything about you and He loves you. He claims you and accepts you. He likes you, and there isn’t a thing you can do for Him.

There was hiding and distance, not because God didn’t love Adam and Eve, but because their shame kept them from believing His love, so the story goes. God sent His Son, Jesus, to show people His love, so the story goes. To know Jesus is to know God’s love, so the story goes. To know God’s love is to be reconciled – or brought back – to Him.

And of all the things I pray and hope and believe for you – and I do pray and hope and believe things for you – this is the greatest: that you would know that you know that you know (as my friend Mary says) God’s love.

Much love. ❤

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