I got nothing. I wanted to write some compelling narrative about the Christmas story, or teach some profound truth. But I have nothing. For reasons unknown, this has been a week of not feeling the nearness of the Holy Spirit. This has been a time of busyness at work, focusing on a relationship and how to best make it a Gospel-centered and Christ-exalting one, and trying to move to make life easier and to be a better steward. So, I’ve got nothing.
In the final week of Advent, when Christ came near to us, I feel like the nearness of Holy Spirit has been replaced with busyness and general insanity. But, isn’t that simply life, only I’m noticing it more now because of the irony of it all? If this was a week in the summer, spring, or fall, would I be so concerned about feeling far from God for a week? Wouldn’t I just pick up my Bible on Sunday and start reading in effort to feel close again, instead of writing about felt distance?
This is Advent, a time when God became Incarnate and became near to us, as one of us. So this distance stands out like fresh blood in the snow. It’s tempting to simply cover it up and go back to seeing pure, brilliantly white snow. It’s tempting to just gloss over this as a bad week, but God only lets us feel far for a reason: to sanctify us through a period of dryness, to make us long for Him again.
But, isn’t that the importance of Advent? That God hallowed flesh and became man after creation and His people had been longing for the Messiah to come for ages? Yet, He did not come as they expected, and many even overlooked Him. So, maybe this dryness isn’t so much His absence, but His nearness, felt in a way that I’m not sensitive to or looking for? It is certainly His grace toward me, as I long for that refreshing feeling of felt communion with the Spirit and with my Savior and Lord. But, maybe in this time of Advent, He’s trying to show me that even in my feelings of distance, He is still more near than I realize.
Maranatha, Lord Jesus. Maranatha.