Last week, I received a bulk e-mail about a charity run that was canceled due to a lack of entries.  I wasn’t registered for the race and didn’t know much about it, but when I read the e-mail, I felt the sadness and disappointment the event organizers must have felt.  The race wasn’t meant to be this year for a reason only God knows, but it’s still a bummer.  When someone spends time planning an event, they want people to come – and the more the merrier.  There’s a lot of happiness in seeing others enjoy something to which you’ve given much time and sweat, and large crowds fuel great celebrations.  When your labor of love isn’t received as you hoped or expected, it can be disappointing and discouraging.  Unfortunately, “if you build it, they will come” doesn’t always ring true, but that doesn’t mean we should stop building.

He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.  John 1:11

It’s not possible to compare the disappointment of a canceled race to God’s disappointment in the rejection of his Son.  Imagine offering up your only son as a savior for the world and enduring His rejection by many.  We’re incapable of understanding such sorrow.  Even those of us who accept Jesus as God’s son and our savior can’t live without sin, and we exhibit some sort of rejection of Him daily.  I am a believer, but every time I slip up, I push God away, rejecting His love and commandments and demonstrating a lack of trust in Him.  It takes effort to mend the separation from God caused by my poor choices, and I’d be in a heap of stink without His forgiveness.  I’m grateful His door is always open, and He takes me back every time I ask.  In fact, He’s waiting anxiously for my knock.  It would be nice to decrease the number of my mistakes and resulting confessions and instead wear down His welcome mat with more praises and gratitude.  Opening my heart to Jesus and making it so comfortable for Him that He settles in deep might be the answer.  The deeper I let Him in, the harder it will be for me to forsake Him … at least that’s my hope.  Advent begins in two weeks – a special season to prepare for Jesus.  He’s already in my heart, but this year, I want Him to overtake it.  Thank goodness God hasn’t given up on me and canceled His offer of love, forgiveness, and salvation.  He never will, no matter how many times I push Him away.  This Advent, I want my door to be open extra-wide, ready to welcome and accept God’s Son and the love and peace He brings.

Dear God, please help me embrace the upcoming Advent season like never before, ready to accept your Son with an open heart.