Love Knocked: It’s Time to Answer
Dec 27, 2015 03:38AM
By Bonnie Lyn Smith
I opened the door to find her standing there in the pouring-down rain, hand outstretched toward me with a Peppermint Mocha and Salted Caramel Square just waiting to delight me inside a paper bag. I greeted her with bedhead, three-days-worn pajamas, and a defeated face. Not sure when I had last showered. She doesn’t even drink coffee from my café of choice, but she had the barista handcraft a beverage just for me. She didn’t come in. She took her soaked self back to the van, having delivered friendship in a cup. And it was the real deal in every way:
Before that knock came, I got an email:
“You home right now?”
Me: “Yes, upstairs resting.”
Nothing mattered to me right then. I had tried to drag myself out all day to get a coffee just to be somewhere and exist outside my own grief, but I couldn’t. I listlessly made three breakfasts, packed three lunches, sent three kids out the door to three different buses, and went back to bed. All I knew was that Dad was dying several states away, and that phone call was coming in any minute. I was in some kind of nightmarish limbo—stuck and free-falling.
Then, that knock!
I wanted to but could not in any way will myself to answer it. I simply couldn’t leave my bed. I didn’t know it was raining. I wasn’t even sure who it was. But the knuckles rapped a bit stronger and then my phone burped.
Text: “I’m outside with a Starbucks.”
Oh man. Wow. I flipped off the covers and just about fell down the steps to get to my door. My friend was speaking my love language, and she was delivering liquid joy, steam rising in fun swirls from the plastic lid.
We barely exchanged words. Love just showed up at my door, and it was time to answer it.
How about you? Has love come to yours?
Did you know it already has?
Revelation 3:20, ESV, Jesus speaking through John
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
We sometimes find ourselves wondering where rescue and relief are. Where is that knight in shining armor?
He knocks on the door of your heart—and mine. But, like my friend, He doesn’t force His way in. He holds our gift out to us, but it’s up to us to see it for what it is and accept it. In many ways, we don’t really fully appreciate all that it is until after we take it, but one small step of faith extends our hands toward the Savior standing in our personal storm with a love that went to a cross and the depths of hell for us—and rose again.
His message is simple and yet so vital, so needed. He has everything required for eternity with Him right there in that invitation. He keeps knocking, even when we think we are okay in our own “stuck,” even when we don’t answer the door the first time. He is persistent, like my friend—and so creative in the ways He tries to reach us.
It would almost seem like this:
Jesus: “Bonnie, I’m at the door, Beloved. Are you going to answer?”
Me: “Oh, Jesus, I can’t exit my own despair right now. Me and grief…we are oddly comfortable wrapped up with each other.”
Jesus: “But, Bonnie, I have The Best for you. I came bearing the real deal. I offer you my very best: myself with arms spread out as a sacrifice for you. I offer you conquered death. Eternity in the presence of my Father. Grace eternal. A relationship with the Living God.”
That sounded like something I should rush into. I didn’t need to shower, get dressed, brush my hair, or perfect myself in any way. He wanted me fresh from my pain, anguish, anger, frustration, etc. I didn’t have to improve myself in any way to rush to the door to let Jesus in.
Christmas is that He came to us just as we are. When Mary birthed Jesus, a great knocking began in every heart.
Once we take the gift at the door—once we let Him in—Christmas is every day of our lives. There is no post-December-25th letdown.
The real deal showed up in a manger, followed through on a cross, confirmed with holes in hands, rejoined our Father in heaven, and sent His Holy Spirit to the door of our hearts.
What will you do this year when that knocking continues?
Will you let Him in?
Maybe you come to the door in a good season of life, feeling rather independent and self-made. What happens when the foundation you think you are standing upon shakes financially, emotionally, spiritually? What is around the corner for you in 2016? More success, fulfilled dreams, planned occasions?
If your heart is thankful and humble, trusting Jesus in the good weather, will it yield to His loving plan for your life when the stormy weather comes? Are you ready?
Have you really opened the door and accepted His great, forever gift?
Perhaps you answer the door ashamed, caught in an act that grieves God, stuck in a pit of self-destructive behavior? Did you know He still holds His gift out to you? It’s not for the righteous because not one can be found. It’s for me and for you in our nakedness and our shame.
Will you believe He wants good for you and that He’ll help you turn your life around, that He’ll fulfill His plans through you (and His plans are always good) if you simply take the Gift?
Possibly you crawl to the door. You’re distraught, doubtful, hopeless, and scared. When you open it, Jesus smiles at you with a love you find very difficult to trust. You think to yourself: “How could He find value in me? Does He really know which home He stopped at?”
Yes, Beloved, He absolutely does. His Gift is the same no matter how He finds you right now.
The New Year is upon us. You have a decision to make.
Love knocked. It’s time to answer.
“Jesus, I trust Your saving grace in my life. I need You as my Lord and Savior. I believe in Your death on the cross for my sins, that You are the Resurrection and the Life, and that no man comes to the Father but by You [John 14:6]. Show me how to trust You more. I give You my life. Amen.”
If you’ve said this prayer, find a Bible-believing church that teaches Jesus, and let me know how it goes. You can contact me directly if you like. It’s the only gift you absolutely need this year. It would delight my heart (and His) if you take it!
Happy New Year!
Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about parenting, marriage, mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, the healing cloak of Jesus, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.
Her book, Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day, offers anecdotes on all of these subjects and Scripture for each situation as well as Book Discussion Questions for deeper exploration.