Monday, April 8, 2013

Brush of Pink

The presence of the Lord brushes my morning with a tint of His glory as in the sunrise.  He is faithful and always shows up, waiting in gentle anticipation of meeting with me.  I love these precious moments in quiet, but sometimes I fail to get up.  Sometimes I miss the sunrise.

As I walk my daughter to school each morning, we get to see the pink sky.  But there are times when I get lost in conversation, or I watch for traffic that we might get across the street, and in that moment, the sunrise has faded.  Just that quick I missed it.

I'm reminded of Thomas after Jesus had risen from the dead.  The most exciting event of history was about to occur.  Jesus Himself would show up in the room where the disciples were huddled behind locked doors.  Jesus, in His resurrection body, had only been seen by Mary in the garden and then by the two walking along the road to Emmaus.  And now his own precious disciples were about to witness Him with their own eyes.   But Thomas, for some reason, was not there.  Wow!  What a time to be gone, Thomas.  Ya missed it!  (John 20:24-25)

I don't want to miss seeing God's glory.  I don't want to be preoccupied with life when God waits to spend time alone with me.  When I miss my appointment with God too many times I give doubt opportunity.  The other disciples later told Thomas that they had seen the Lord, but Thomas would not believe based on their testimony.  He had to see for Himself.

That is so true for us as well.  Others can tell us how great the Lord is or what He has done for them, which can strengthen our faith, but until we encounter God for ourselves, we will only be observers rather than participants.  When we are absent from our quiet time with God, absent from fellowship with a local body of believers, we miss out.  What great comfort, encouragement, and truths God has ready to give us, but we aren't there to receive them.  It is no wonder doubts creep in.

This morning, I grabbed my camera before stepping out the door, hoping to capture the rosy skies for this post.  But though I showed up for the sunrise, the clouds hid its glory.   Oh, the sun had, indeed, risen.  I knew it was there, yet all I saw was overcast grey.  Likewise, to consistently meet with God, doesn't mean I'm guaranteed the orange and pinks, for He's "not a tame lion you know,"  (Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis)  Jesus is risen from the dead and given me life by His Spirit.  Yet, sometimes God is silent, and for various reasons, remains hidden from my sight.  This is where faith comes in, believing even when I do not see. 

It was a full week later before Jesus appeared again to his disciples.   What an agonizing week for Thomas!   I have to wonder, what thoughts went through his mind?   He might have been jealous that the other disciples had seen and he had not, or maybe he was kicking himself with regret thinking, "Why didn't I stay in the upper room with the others?"   Perhaps he felt hurt that he had been left out or might not be important enough to be seen by Jesus.  Yet, Jesus is incredibly personal and knows each heart.  He knew Thomas needed to encounter Him. 

At last the time came and Thomas was in the room.  Shock and relief must have washed over his face as Jesus addressed him personally.  Thomas was invited to see the scars, the nail prints, and to touch where the soldiers had plunged the spear into Jesus' side.  Thomas immediately believed and right then fell down and worshiped, crying out, "My Lord and my God!"  (John 20:28)  Jesus had not forgotten him.  He knew how Thomas yearned to see Him.

In the same way, God invites us to come close, to "taste and see that the Lord is good." (Psa. 34:8)  For only a taste will open the palette to a vast world of God's goodness, a craving for more of Him, and the certainty of our sure foundation.  Faith finds a resting place.  "I need no other argument, I need no other plea.  It is enough that Jesus died and that He died for me."  (hymn by Lidie Edmunds) 

Though I may not see the sunrise every time, I still need to encounter Jesus each day.  He is my Bread of Life and the very air I breathe.  May it never be said of me, "Ya missed Him."  Never.  

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