“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8
From the beginning of time God demonstrated the relationship He wanted with His creation. The above passage infers this was a regular occurrence, not an annual visit or check-in to make certain the garden was in tip-top shape. Adam and Eve recognized God’s steps in the garden because they had a relationship with God.
A couple of chapters later we read about Enoch who lived to be three hundred and sixty-five years old. Taking this verse literally, it seems that Enoch and God regularly met together and went for walks. Whether it’s from commentaries or discussing this with my small group a while back, I have this picture of Enoch and God walking through an orchard discussing important topics, but also enjoying each other, laughing over the small things in life. Then one day, in my visualization of this, God leans over, “Hey Enoch, what do you say, are you ready to head up to heaven and see everyone? I’ve got just the place prepared for you.” Off they went.
“Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” Genesis 5:24
Despite these beautiful examples of healthy God-human relationships that should fill our hearts with reassurance, we complicate things. The same stress and anxiety that fills a heart when an adult child realizes a parent will be arriving for a visit is the same baggage we impose on God. Too busy to stop, we miss the simplicity: God wants YOU.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Revelation 3:20
Jesus wants to share life with YOU. He’s not concerned that your heart-home is antique yellow because you’ve been smoking self-righteousness for years, He doesn’t care that there’s anger and pride caked to your cook top from a series of boil-overs. He’ll notice the grit of shame lining the sink and the filled medicine cabinet; an effort to keep the anxiety and depression at bay. He’ll notice, but it won’t detour him. Not even the stench of immorality on your linens will make Him want to turn away if you’re willing to open the door.
No, God isn’t going to take a sledgehammer and begin major demolition in your home. He probably won’t even roll out an intricate blueprint across your table cluttered with jars of procrastination, worry and doubt. He will look you in the eyes like no one before. You’ll know He sees it all, a tinge of shame will sweep across your heart, but as you look into His eyes, you’ll know it’s okay. Not that it’s actually okay, all the clutter and trash, but that He’s not the angry villain your imagination made him out to be. He’s not judging you. He’s not angry with you because you opened the door.
Don’t be surprised when tears fill your eyes, because for the first time ever you don’t need to pretend, you can admit you aren’t enough, because you can feel and see He is more than enough. The two tons and more carried for a lifetime, the weight of the life you have chosen to lead, is suddenly lifted. Just like that, gone. No amount of shopping, prescription drugs, wine or success could ever accomplish what He did in a single particle of a moment.
Unfortunately, from birth, there hasn’t been much room for Jesus. Joseph and a very pregnant Mary knocked the doors of inn after inn. Rejection after rejection until one innkeeper gave an unconventional solution: The stable.
Similar to his earthly dad, Jesus knocks looking for room. Unfortunately, many people have believed a series of lies about God. “Rules, rules, rules, never any fun.”, “He’s bigoted”, “He hates women”, “God’s oppressive”……a series of lies from people who have never opened the door, broken bread and shared a conversation with their Creator who loves them deeply.
Admittedly, He sometimes pounds, as we would do if a fire was consuming your home. We’d want you to know so you could be safe! God loves YOU so much His concern is for YOU. Will you at least open the door and ask what’s going on?
Is He going to have to stand and knock for a while before you let Him in? Or are you ready?