your advent alarms us.
wake us from drowsy worship,
from the sleep that neglects love,
and the sedative of misdirected frenzy.
awaken us now to your coming
and bend our angers into your peace. Amen
If it had not been the Lord who was on our side—
let Israel now say—
2 if it had not been the Lord who was on our side
when people rose up against us,
3 then they would have swallowed us up alive,
when their anger was kindled against us;
4 then the flood would have swept us away,
the torrent would have gone over us;
5 then over us would have gone
the raging waters.
6 Blessed be the Lord,
who has not given us
as prey to their teeth!
7 We have escaped like a bird
from the snare of the fowlers;
the snare is broken,
and we have escaped!
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
I don’t know if this has ever happened to you but if it has I am not one who would sit in judgment of the error that you have experienced. You are walking to leave an establishment, a store or restaurant, and you put your hand on the door that you had previous entered in through. As you push on the door you notice that there seems to be some resistance to your weight and the door does not move. You decide that you might need to exert a little more energy so you push a little hard, perhaps even adding a little bit of your body into the push but still no movement. You take a step back to see what could be wrong, assess the situation and push again to no avail. If you are lucky then you notice that there is a pull sign on the door and push before anyone sees your struggle; but if you are like me than you probably don’t notice till someone or many people shout out, “Pull!”
Our sin or struggles are like that for us. It seems to have a hold on us. Whether it be some besetting sin that we just seem to gravitate back to time and again or some new thing that seems to be grabbing us we can feel as though we are not moving forward; that we are nowhere near becoming a maturing follower of Christ. We neglect to see that we have escaped the snare and that it is broken which means it no longer has mastery over us. Often times we believe that when we recognize sin in our lives that it is God’s way of letting us know we have a long way to go and we better get to work. When a struggle arises it is our fault or an attack that we need to defend against. We think that it is proof that we are still trapped. We push because we think that is what is needed.
If we believe the Truth that the snare is broken then when we recognize our falleness we should be moved to grief and then celebration. Grief that we have trusted something other than God for wholeness but celebration that the snare is broken and we are not enslaved by it; celebrate that God is gracious to reveal a place of brokenness that He has made whole.
It is not up to us to save ourselves. Stop putting on the broken snare like a bracelet and trust that even in the in between, the now but not yet God’s work is accomplished for you. He is on your side. He has not given us as prey.