Monday, May 4, 2020

Restoring A Relationship That Was Once Lost

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone….” – Genesis 2:18

God created mankind with the desire to be around other people. I know you can think of exceptions – people always thing of exceptions and then somehow think that upends the truth. I am not referring to extroverts and introverts.  Even introverts have friends and families. But God is a relational God and since we are made in His image and likeness, we too are relational. Our desire to be connected with other people is a reflection of God’s desire to be with us.

The distinction is that we can have imperfect relationships – even harmful ones – with other human beings, but we can only have a right relationship with God through faith in Jesus and the Spirit of God in us.  All of that in the context of understanding that we are His creation – His children. He is the parent, if you will, and we are the children.

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”  – Matthew 18:2-4

The “Stay at Home” order has been very telling about how driven we are to be around other people. It is like my daughter’s dog waiting at the door to go outside.  As soon as the door is cracked open – zoom – the dog is outside. For the most part – we have everything we need in our homes – well at least in the United States we do.  I say that because some of my friends in Haiti are reading this and they don’t – not by a long shot. We can have virtually anything we can pay for delivered to our doorsteps. So why do we need to leave the house. If we were all agoraphobic (fearful of leaving the familiar – including the house) it would not be a problem. But agoraphobia is a behavioral disorder – which is to say it is behavior that is not consistent with God’s design – said at least by those who believe that there is a God.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:16-17

That is how much God wants a relationship with us. That feeling that you had when you were pent up in the place where you live – like a prisoner in isolation. I think that is how God feels about being apart from us.  Why else would He go to such great and perhaps drastic measures to be with us again?  Salvation can be a lot like lifting the “Stay at Home” order.  Initially there is a feeling of euphoria.  We are glad to be around other people. But that doesn’t last for long.  Before you know it – being around some, maybe a lot of, people becomes an annoyance.  We are glad to get home away from the chaos.  Back in our sanctuary. And so with our faith, there is also an initial euphoria the moment  we were freed from the burden and ultimate consequence of our sin, but that feeling quickly fades and we find ourselves back in the thick of a sin sick world – drawn away by those things that reflected a life isolated from the One who created us.

My hope is that your experience with the COVID 19 pandemic causes you to be sensitive to how much God wants to be close to you.  To walk with you and talk with you – and you won’t have to be six feet away and you won’t have to wear a mask. 

As I was typing this, a song came to mind as it often does, In The Garden, Charles A. Miles, 1913, Public Domain.

“I come to the garden alone, While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear The Son of God discloses.

Refrain: And He walks with me, and He talks with me, And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there, None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
And the melody that He gave to me Within my heart is ringing.

I’d stay in the garden with Him, Though the night around me be falling,
But He bids me go; through the voice of woe His voice to me is calling.”

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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