Touching God for the Very First TimeGeorge Shamblin
On October 4th, 1995, Hurricane Opel was bearing down off Alabama’s coast, ravaging its way toward my home in Montgomery. Typical for those preparing for storms, I decided on a last-minute dash to the local grocery store. Running to get in and out as quickly as possible, I couldn’t help but notice a tiny kitty-cat hiding underneath the car beside me. The kitten must have been the runt of the litter due to its small size. With an impending storm approaching, there was precious little time to coax this kitty into safety.
Predictably, each time I bent down on the car’s left side, the kitty rapidly scurried to the right. Whenever I knelt in the back, it bolted towards the front. Growing exasperated after no less than ten vain attempts, purchasing cat food, the kind with meat, appeared to be my best option. Unfortunately, not even cat food (with meat) worked coming from the hand of a larger and stranger species like me. Opel’s outer bands of wind and rain had forcefully arrived.
Here I am all these years later, and as crazy as it sounds, I can vividly recall the helpless feeling of trying to help a soaked and shivering little creature only to scare it away. What was needed was another kitten, or even a cat, to have led the kitten out of the storm. Anyone else, or anything else, would only have further frightened it away.
In many instances where God appeared to His people, they reacted the same way as that kitten. When the “thunder roared, and lightning flashed on Mount Sinai,” it utterly terrified the Israelites (Ex. 19:16). When Isaiah beheld the Lord “sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted….and the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out!” he entirely fell to pieces exclaiming: “Woe is me, for I am undone!” (Is. 6)
But then, everything changed. Scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer once said, “The best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person!” But oh was Christ’s birth so much more than an idea; it was God Himself wrapped in flesh! Precious Jesus, through the passionate love by which He adores us, not only drew near to humankind but became one of us. Because people could see and touch God for the very first time, “being born in the likeness of men, and found in appearance as a man,” they trusted Him to lead them to safety. (Phil. 2:7-8) When Philip asks, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us,” came this reassuring reply, “the one who has seen Me has seen the Father.”
If you could only get one thing from this blog, please get this: the most repeated command in the Christmas story is “Do not fear!” Despite the severity of the storm you are facing, you most assuredly have a Rescuer. His Name is Jesus of Nazareth, who can lead you to safety. However, and this is very significant however, you can’t run away from His voice when He calls. Remember, you can trust Him. Oh, most assuredly you can.
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