the God who fights in Advent

God fights for ME.

It is one of those revelations that digs deep down into your tumbling stomach to touch a wounded, tender, festering spot in your soul.

Got any? You know, festering spots? Rolling stomach? Heart palpitations? Doubts? Fears?

Because I have them. I just hope that I am not alone, but even if I am, somebody back in the days of Isaiah was a little like me.

It seems to me that once we pack our bags and jettison out of the womb, we start gathering baggage. Fear. Pain. Wounds. It is part of being human.

 I live in worlds within worlds where castles and fortresses dominate the landscape. There are castles on tall hills all over my world – visual metaphors of salvation. When the enemy comes, you run to safety: a strong tower, unshakeable presence – a sanctuary.

Sanctuary. That word in its original garments of expression means salvation.

But, we hear the lies from Satan and believe them – those twisted words that Eve heard in a once upon a time garden. They drill down into the very source of the spine, shredding pieces of flesh and bone as they go.

Did God really say…? Because God probably doesn’t love you like he loves others. You are second rate, not quite as cherished … not quite so loved … unchosen by God.’

Those words are nasty lashes to the heart of Christ. He is continuously, tirelessly, painfully fighting for you. Surrounding you with his body that takes the impact of those arrows that Satan’s entire army is firing at your soul. Aim to kill boys.” And, not just kill but pulverize and annihilate – Satan is bent on destruction.

I am thankful for my friend, Katy Beth. Everybody needs a Katy Beth in their circle of friends. On a dark day a while back, she sent me Isaiah 12. 

Surely God is my salvation;
    I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense[a];
    he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
    from the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 12:2-3

I can imagine those Israeli Children, hunkered down, scared, defeated, bleeding, wounded, hurt. They had nobody to turn to because they had been unfaithful and mean-spirited to God. THEY had rejected HIM – forfeited the right to expect God to prevent their enemy from beating in their brains, slicing their bodies into pieces, and dumping them in a ditch.

Graphic words perhaps, but reality. I live in a part of the world where mass graves are still fresh dirt.

Isaiah tells those shaking souls soiling themselves out of terror,

‘God’s anger has turned away and He will comfort you.’ 

He is your salvation … your rescuer.

You will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Wells … like the one where Jesus sat down and asked a sexually immoral, ostracized, festering woman to give him a drink? And then he told her about a well from which she could drink and never thirst again.

In Advent 2015, this is the salvation that our world desperately needs. Will you cry out with me for sanctuary … for me, for you, for those in our world who have no voice, no home, no country, no hope?

At Advent, God fights for me.

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