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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, December 14

Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.
—1 Peter 2:10

There are times in life when we wonder if God has deserted us. We don't feel as if any blessing is coming to us. We look at our lives and see only an empty and lonely space. We can't figure out why God has turned away. Yet, God promises never to leave us, never to withhold mercy from us.

Perhaps, it's not that God has gone away from us, but we who have gone away from God. Maybe we've gotten too busy with life, or too involved in our projects, or overly committed to what isn't really all that important.  Or, maybe we've decided that there are things in our life that we like doing even if they're not healthy, even if they separate us from God or our true selves.

We may not notice these things on a regular, consistent basis.  But, when that empty and lonely feeling comes, and we're blaming God for leaving us alone, we might stop long enough to be still and silent and take an inventory of our soul.  

Advent is a time when our hearts are open and ready for such an inventory. Maybe this Advent can be a time to ask ourselves what it means to be the "people of God." And, if we believe we are one of God's people, what changes in our lives would help heal our soul so that we could live into our identity? Where can we re-position our needs, or renew our minds, or re-imagine our commitments, or re-energize our soul, or deepen our prayer?

Jesus promised the disciples that he would never leave or forsake them. No matter how distant God feels, God's love and mercy are there waiting for us to turn and notice.

Gracious God, let my heart be comforted in the knowledge that I belong to you, now and forever.