Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Seeing Jesus



One summer day I was outside tending to my rock garden. A neighbor two doors away was leaving for work and called out, “Your garden is beautiful.” Spontaneously, I responded by lifting my hand to the sky acknowledging God as the reason for the garden. She was delighted and I was surprised.

While the Bible speaks of Jesus’ return as an actual second coming, there are times when He drops in on me and I don’t expect Him. That episode was one of those times and His presence made praise very natural, the normal thing to do. I’ve had other unexpected visits, mostly full of wonder and delight, and a few laden with sorrow. Whatever the situation, He made Himself known to me, catching me by surprise.

You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12:40)

The Bible says I’m to be ready for Jesus’ return, but Chambers says I must also be ready for those surprise visits. If I get too absorbed in what I am doing and He drops by, can I turn from my preoccupation and face Him?

It is not easy to be totally absorbed in the intense reality of the presence of the Lord. He never leaves me or forsakes me, yet at times His closeness seems so vivid that I can almost touch Him. To want that chases away all other preoccupations. The expectation and anticipation of seeing His face gives my heart an attitude of wonder like no other. This is not a ‘religious’ moment, but a spiritually reality. He is here; I need to open my eyes to Him.

Chambers adds the warning: if I am always on the lookout for Jesus, I will also be avoiding the pull of this age. My heart will be set on what Christ wants. I will be thinking as He thinks, talking as He leads. Other people might consider me a dreamer. But I’m to not pay heed to even the finest of people if they hinder my sight of Jesus Christ. The upside is that in the trials of life, and even in the ordinary days, I will be ready, and I will see Him.

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Family Update: Bob’s doctor phoned him today leaving a message that said “urgent.” That sounded like bad news, but we were in for a surprise. Before Christmas, Bob’s white blood count was over 140 (normal is 4-8). It had been rising steadily for the past few years since he was diagnosed with CLL, a form of leukemia. By now he should have other symptoms, particularly with that high count, but he has had none. Then he had that bout with flu and pneumonia that nearly took his life in January. CLL is an immune system disease, so it was part of the reason he was so sick. However, he bounced back extremely well other than his WBC was about the same in February, just over 140.

This afternoon, he returned his doctor’s phone call. The excited voice on the other end told him that the blood test he had last week came back with a white cell count of 76.5 and, “What have you been doing?” Bob said no changes, no new meds, nothing different from before.

We are still totally amazed. What else can we say but, “Praise God . . . and thank You!”

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