Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What's The Secret?

Then He opened their minds so they could understand... Luke 24:45

Do you ever wish other people would get what makes so much sense to you? Do you ever feel frustrated when you see others doing the same things over and over that you know just aren't going to work? Do you ever feel like you're talking to a brick wall? Do you ever feel like giving up on somebody?

I read words from the Bible like the ones above, and I say, "What's the secret? How did Jesus open their minds to understand what He wanted them to understand? Why? How? And is He ever going to do that for so-and-so? Do I need to shout louder? Pray more? Speak the truth differently?"

When it comes to opening the minds of others, a lot of waiting is usually involved. Even Jesus had to wait for that. He did a lot of teaching to a lot of people in a lot of different settings in a lot of different ways. He used illustrations. He used real-life circumstances. He used miracles. He used the Scriptures. He used stories. He used other people to declare His message. He showed them what compassion looked like. He showed them how to trust the Father. He taught them how to pray. He showed His love and His power through His death and resurrection. And when He came back to life, He went to those same people He had taught the most to and found them sitting around being more scared and confused than ever.

Hello, McFly? Is anybody home?

"John, Peter, Thomas? Wait, where is Thomas? He's not even here. Ei-yi-yi! I'm in my moment of glory here! Wake up! Open your eyes!"

Well, I'm not sure Jesus said it that way or was even thinking that, but I know I would have been. And I would have wanted to know the secret. I would have wanted to make everyone magically understand, and Jesus did that somehow. But I'm not sure how, or why, or why He did it in that moment.

Maybe someday I'll figure it out, but I do know this: It happened. That day came. When the time was right and Jupiter aligned with the will of God, it happened. And I think that's the one thing we can know. God will do it. Minds will be opened. Eyes will see. What seems impossible and hopeless isn't. What frustrates me today will eventually have its date with destiny. Because God never gives up. He never stops short of bringing someone to that moment of revelation. His truth may be out there for a long time, waiting for someone to believe, but it never returns void.

This is why the Bible is full of words like faith, hope, and believe. We cannot open the minds of others like Jesus can, but we can do what He asks of us. Love, trust, and wait...the glory is coming.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Resting In His Love

"Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover...as you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters and say to the owner of the house, "The teacher asks, 'Where is the great room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?'" He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there." Luke 22:8-12

Jesus gives His disciples instructions about where to make preparations for the Passover meal, but He had already led a rich man to prepare a room that they would find waiting for them. The disciples were to prepare for the Passover, but Jesus had already prepared a place.

We may have things Jesus instructs us to do, but any prerequisites to what we 'bring to the table' will already be in place. Sometimes we are the one setting a room up for others to come and do their part. It's not always possible to know the role we play. All we can do is what Jesus leads us to do and trust that it's part of the grand plan. And the most important element is always what Jesus does Himself--the love He shows. Our role is to help others and ourselves to get ready for the blessing He already has waiting.

I was thinking about this as it relates to the books I write. The stories talk about God's love and teach about it. They remind others (and myself) of His love, but He will always show that love in real ways. The books prepare the mind and heart; but when His love comes, it's not just a fictional story anymore, it's real.

His love was made very real for me this week as my husband faced some serious medical issues. Jesus carried me through the anxiety and brought about a very good outcome. I was also blessed by others who came alongside to offer practical help and many prayers for us. And most of all, I was reminded of God's great provision for me all these years with such a wonderful man to share my life with. The evidence of God's love is so great!

How has God made His love to you more than a nice sentiment? How have you seen it? How has His love been demonstrated to you this week, and as you look back? Meditating on God's love is always a good idea. I hope you take some time to rest in it today.