We have all been each of these people at one time or another. I know I have leapt for joy in one moment and then scoffed in disbelief in another. I have been obedient and then refused to give up control. I have read many books, given in to fears, ignored the obvious, and even seen an angel. I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about and would have your own stories of encounter and what choice you made in that moment. “We all, like sheep, have gone astray”. Christmas is a time for coming back; a time for believing the impossible. A gift was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger offering salvation for all who would believe…sounds incredible; unbelievable…it’s your choice, what are you going to do?
God is far from ever silent about anything. The very rocks are crying out if we will take the time to listen. Sometimes he shouts out “Yes! Go Now!” and other times it is a simple “No..”. Often, we hear “Not yet…I’m still putting the pieces together.” It is always one of those three…there is no maybe with God. He does not need to think it over or weigh the consequences. Yes, No, Not Yet…those are his answers to all our questions.
When the road does end we are left to travel on foot along a well-trodden but narrow path leading to a door…with a knocking sound coming from the other side. What we do at this point is a choice that all of us will make, and we all make it alone. The path leading to the door is not wide enough for companions and the handle is only big enough for one hand to grasp…
Moments are fleeting and finite. Most we let pass by without too much notice as the hands on the clock sweep into history the minutes and seconds. We are passing through this current of time and most often do not pay any attention, other than to look back and wonder where it all went and how we could have missed so much. Moments matter…and many are wasted…
Renovating is not unlike a Christian’s life. The Good Lord purchased the property and the Holy Spirit moves in. He takes a look around and starts making plans about what needs to be done. It is often uncomfortable while the work is being done…we feel grungy and dirty all the time as decades old dust settles everywhere till the project is complete. We may not like all of the changes, but like any General Contractor, he is the one in charge and we are sub-contractors…tearing out, cleaning up, and putting on the finishes so that He can have a proper place to dwell…..
Jesus does call us “friends” and He desires to be closer than a brother to us, whether He is or not is really dependent on us. But I believe this verse also tells us there can be those people in our lives whom he can work through to fill the role of “closer than a brother”. And that we can fill that role in someone’s life as well.
So often we jump into something without really thinking it through. We fly on the wings of emotion and conjure up imaginary scenarios of how it will be, then when we finally get there we find holes and cracks and mismatched pieces held together with little more than Elmer’s glue…fodder for the workshop bonfire.
We are not the one who holds the power or wields it. We are not the one who has the answers or provides the solution. We are not the one who can see from the beginning to the end and every point in between. We do not make the rules…but we can know the one who does.