Sunday, December 18, 2011

Advent XXVI

'Tis the season to think, to reflect, to meditate on Emmanuel. Matthew's gospel lifts up the name and makes us understand that the meaning of the word is "God with us." Sometimes we are tempted to wonder if it is true. When life seems to be crumbling into broken pieces around us, it is easy to start thinking that God is not actually as present as the Christmas story would indicate. And sometimes, even in those difficult moments when we question His presence, honesty requires us to wonder if somehow we missed Him along the way.
I remember one particular morning when I was serving the Perry Church. It was a morning filled with discouragement. I went to the office that day sure that God was nowhere in the picture. I hardly noticed the people in the office since I was walking in this dark cloud. However, one five year old called my name, ran toward me with outstretched arms so I, black cloud and all, knelt on one knee to receive her hug. Later in the morning on the way to the hospital in Macon I was fussing at God, complaining, telling Him how little He cared. It was there in the car south of Macon that God spoke with such clarity that I knew it was His voice. Do you know what He said?
He said, "I gave you a hug this morning." And, I missed it. I thought it was just a hug from a child.
Is that not how it is with us many times? We wallow in our cloud of discouragement and walk in our situations of impossible circumstances without seeing how God is leading us along and sometimes, even giving us hugs along the way.

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