The unexpected Jesus
Do you think you’re suffering because God has abandoned you?
There are many ways in which Jesus presents Himself to us. Most of them are unexpected. Sometimes we don’t even recognize Him.
The people in John 7:1-30 failed to recognize Jesus as the Messiah because they had EXPECTATIONS of what the Messiah would be like. Sheesh! Expectations can sure mislead us! Yes, we can expect God to love us and do good for us, but when we have expectations about HOW and through WHOM He should love us and do good for us, we usually end up disappointed and feeling abandoned.
Jesus is present when we suffer, but if we expect Him to remove our pain quickly to prove He cares about us, we will fail to recognize what He is doing that is more loving. We want short-cuts to healing and short-cuts to happiness, but God knows when this would be detrimental for us. Despite what our expectations insist upon, He is present to us in the long-term plan, for which someday we’ll be very grateful.
Jesus also comes to us in the people we don’t like, but since we don’t expect Him to show up in jerks and other sinners, we reject Him. It takes effort to find Jesus in persons who are behaving very unChrist-like. But He is there. He is teaching us to love the unlovable.
Jesus comes to us in many illogical ways. We expect that everything God does and asks us to do will make sense. But it didn’t make sense to Mary that she should become the mother of the Messiah while still a virgin. It didn’t make sense to Joseph, either. And it’s not logical that God would use a sinner like me to bring you these daily reflections, especially since I don’t have a formal college degree, let alone a doctorate in theology. And neither is it logical that you are the right person to do the tasks that God has set before you. But if we say NO to God’s plan, we are saying NO to an awesome experience of presenting Jesus to the world.
Jesus is presenting Himself to you in unexpected ways today. Look for Him.
Here’s how to find Him when you can’t see Him. Make a list of all those areas of your life where it seems like God has left the room, closed the door and forgotten about you. Wherever He seems to be failing you, abandoning you, or dismissing your needs, this is where Jesus is presenting Himself to you in UNexpected ways.
He is not standing where you’re looking. Turn around and look in a different direction. You might need to turn toward a direction you don’t like. Where you expect disaster and more misery, unexpectedly, He is there, turning the bad into good, for your sake AND for the benefit of everyone involved.
© 2002 by Terry A. Modica
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