If you know me, you know that one of my all-time favorite Bible stories is the story of Gideon. How can you not love a story where God comes to find a man who is hiding from his enemies, only to greet him with a hearty, "Hail, Mighty Warrior!"?
There's really a lot to love in this story.
And one of the things that struck me more recently about this story is the way in which God comes to Gideon. Yes, I have always focused on the "Hail, Mighty Warrior!" greeting, maybe because that seems the most cinematic. I don't know. But when you take the time to read through the story slowly, carefully, you discover - that's not the way that God comes in.
God comes in...and sits down.
That's what the story says - the angel of the Lord comes to Gideon while he's threshing grain in the winepress and sits down under the oak tree. That's it. He just comes and sits. Only after a short while does He speak.
The same sort of thing is true when we look at the ministry of Jesus. We could call His ministry largely a ministry of "presence" - He's just there. He's in your house, eating at your table, walking in your streets. When He goes to the woman at the well, He sits down nearby before He starts talking to her. He sits in the boat with the disciples. He sits on the boat when He's teaching the crowds.
Our God is simply a God who sits with us.
When we really read the stories, this is hard to miss, but when we let our imaginations run away with us, it's easy to forget. We are a busy people, and we read stories with an eye for the busy. We read for the action. We play scenes in our mind and pay attention to what's happening, what everyone is doing, and we fast-forward past all the times when it doesn't seem like they're doing anything.
But sitting is something. Sitting is doing something. Sitting and being is a hallmark of our God, and if we can't convince ourselves that when God sits, He is working, then we're missing something essential about who He is. He really is God with us.
He delights to be in our presence. He rejoices when we are in His. He's comfortable with the quiet things. He doesn't have to come bursting onto the scene, making a grand entrance. Remember earlier in the book of Genesis when the angels of the Lord come and just hang out in the town square and maybe knock on a door or two? That's our God.
That's the way that God comes in.
And this has me thinking about my life, about my seasons of deep prayer, about my hope and confident assurance in a God who promises to be near. I wonder if...as often as I've been waiting for Him to make some kind of grand entrance, He's actually already been here for awhile.