I didn’t know what all to expect as I purposed in my heart to study Advent this year. Would I simply be going through the motions, as in past years? What is the point of reading and hanging ornaments on a tree if I don’t encounter the Living Christ?
My heart needed this, like water on a dry and parched land. But as I cried out in desperation to be encountered by Him, I feared I would come to the end of the story, which is really the beginning, with my heart still in the same place, the ritual of Advent having passed me by, leaving me unchanged.
Sunday morning I got up and readied myself for church. I read through the day’s Advent reading, about the stairway of God, and how Jesus is the way. I pictured myself climbing up the stairway of heaven to meet with God, but then was reminded that He was right here with me, heaven come down.
From the first note of worship, I could feel my heart begin to soften. Not that it’s been hard, but in all honestly, I haven’t felt His presence in a long time. And it’s not that I felt Him. It’s more like my heart was becoming soft and pliable. I could feel a work being done in my heart.
And then the tears began to flow.
“O Come Let Us Adore Him”.
I couldn’t get through the song without the tears falling. It took a few moments, but they came. Slow and steady. It was as if Jesus put his hand on my heart and said, “Here I am. Come and meet with Me.” I was so thankful for the way He came and encountered my heart. I was thankful that it wasn’t rushed or forced. As I stood there, tears streaming down my face, I recalled various truths from the week’s readings, fresh mana for my weary heart. My eyes are being opened and my heart exposed in a greater way to the person of Jesus Christ and His presence in my life.
“We will wait knowing the remaking of everything has already begun.” – Ann Voskamp, The Greatest Gift
I’ve been asking God to fill me up, to allow me to feel His presence, wondering if He heard my cry. I didn’t want to have to wait for Him. The encounter came slow, but it changed me. My heart is once again being softened toward Him.
[Tweet “He chose to do the work in my heart slowly, and I found Him in the waiting.”]
This week we are focusing on peace, and I can honestly say that I am a little more peaceful than I was last week. No, the storms have not blown over. The job has not yet come. The marriage is not yet healed. The kids are not yet perfect. But His peace, that which comes slowly to my heart and unwraps what I would otherwise prefer to hide, comes slowly. His desire is that I would wrap myself up in it, messy life and all.
Come slowly, Lord Jesus, and do a deep work in my my heart!
Have you experienced His peace in a fresh and new way? I would love for you to share.
Linking up with my friend Heather as we journey through Advent together.
Also linking up with my friends over at Three Word Wednesday.