“The knock at the door startled Irene Adkins. The seventy-nine-year-old great-grandmother wasn’t expecting any visitors. A cautious peek through the peephole revealed a well-dressed silver-haired gentleman with a kind face that struck her as vaguely familiar.” So writes Robert Morris in his book, The God I Never Knew, a book I wholeheartedly recommend.
“It would take her a while to realize that the man‘s face indeed bore an uncanny resemblance to one she knew better than any other – her own. Irene’s seventy-three-year-old brother, Terry, had come for a surprise visit. It was quite surprising because Irene never knew she had a brother.
“Back in 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression, a desperate and confused young English couple unhitched their tattered camper trailer on the side of the road and drove away. Police later found three small, hungry children inside. Irene, at ten months of age, was the youngest. The three were placed in separate foster homes and grew up unaware of the others’ existence. Meanwhile, the young couple eventually achieved some stability a few years later and had another child – their son, Terry.
“When Terry was fourteen, his parents revealed their shameful secret. They told him of the desperate straits in which they’d found themselves and of the wrenching decision to abandon the trio of hungry mouths they could not feed. Shortly thereafter Terry began a lifelong quest to find his siblings. … He searched in vain for almost sixty years. Then came a break-through. He learned the name of the agency that had placed Irene and her siblings in foster homes. Not long thereafter came the day – April 3, 2010 – when Irene Adkins discovered the wonderful brother she never knew. In the discovery, the rootless orphan found a source of answers to questions she had carried around in her heart all her life” (Chapter 1).
This, to me, is the perfect picture of where God stands in his wish to have a relationship with you and me. He knows how empty life will be without him, and he has encouraged our search. To him, we are “family,” and it is only as we welcome him into our lives that we will finally realize, “We’re home! This is where we belong!”
Jesus, in one of his parables, referred to himself as “the Good Shepherd.” He was, he claimed, as one who would leave “the 99” to themselves as he searched for “the one lost sheep.” No one of us, in God’s view, is good enough to cause God to love us any more, and none of us is evil enough to cause God to love us any less. Regardless of our station in life, God is anxious to make the acquaintance.
In the New Testament book of Revelation, Jesus is quoted as having said, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” The great truth of the Gospel is that we have access to God. He is, indeed, anxious to “meet” us, but he will never force the issue. He responds only by invitation.
I cannot tell you how he will reveal himself to you; I just know, from experience, that he is as good as his word.