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Are you watching for Him?

It must be spring! The sheep and lambs are back in our pastures again. Do you notice the signs of His presence - in the smallest of details? Are you looking for Him, watching for when He comes and reveals Himself to you?

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Luke 24:13-34 ESV

Anticipate:

Jesus, You are my God and my close companion! You are the One Who draws near and goes with us on our way. And yet, You are patient with our frailties and You wait to open our eyes till we are ready to recognize the truth of Who You are and the error of our own blindness and faulty conclusions. You honor our grieving and our doubts.

You are the God Who reveals Yourself in the ordinariness of our days – in words, in people, in expectations, in cries for mercy, in the natural consequences of our sin and rebellion, in the beauty of Your creation, in the ordered steps of the seasons, the stars, the sun and moon, in the bread broken and shared with loved ones and fellow travelers – in all these things You are waiting for us to have eyes to see You, ears to hear You, hearts to receive You. You stand poised to give us Your very Self as soon as we are ready to release our hopes to You and trade our fears for wonder.

Resonate:

How often, Lord, have I failed to see You, recognize Your voice, feel Your breath upon my face – in the midst of my turmoil and the fears my doubts birth?

How often have You walked my path alongside me and I was not able to recognize You?

How many times have I gotten the facts right, recounted them over and over, and yet come to the wrong conclusion because I failed to trust the truth of Your Word?

Thank You that I can trust You to correctly interpret Yourself to me through Your Spirit and the revelation of Your true character and being throughout Your Word. Keep my eyes open to see Your Face, my ears ready to hear Your Voice, my tongue ready to taste Your goodness and to sing Your praises, and life transparent in order to reveal Your image, Your mercy, Your grace, Your love!

We need the community of Your Body. We need each other!

Translate:

Revelation of God’s redeeming Presence. I need to wrestle and persevere to understand just how much You work backwards to reveal Yourself in every detail of our lives. The healing of pain and suffering and sorrow come in the recognition of Your very Presence in the midst of the very things that often cause us to run from and blame You for abandoning us and leaving us to the evil around us.

Strengthen me to continue the work of the A.R.T. of CARE, to truly understand the role of generational curses and Your healing and desire to break those curses and replace them with blessing and honor.

Keep me connected, keep me tender, keep me interceding in Your Spirit.

Reflect on Jesus, alive and well, walking down the halls of your life with you.  Where is Jesus present to you?  What familiar actions of his remind you of his presence?  Who are you with when you most feel Jesus presence?

I am only just beginning to see and feel Jesus Presence in the chaos of my life, the pain of my childhood, the dissociation of my emotions concerning my family that spilled over in so many other relationships. For years I have known His Presence in the victories, in the wonders of His provision, the miracles of His leading. But now, to see Him and know Him in those events that I refused to acknowledge, true healing has begun, not just the abstract knowledge of and belief in it. There are now fewer and fewer moments when I am not aware of His Presence, especially in the small, ordinary routines of life.

The wind on my face and in my hair remind me of His gentle gestures of love and His tenderness in calling back to myself – the self that is His image.

The sunrises and the sunsets are vivid reminders to me of His Presence and daily extravagant care and creativity.

The clouds remind me that it is never His intention to harm me – He shields me from what I cannot yet bear in His Presence. But I know He is there in them.

The encouragement, touch, and embrace of family – birth and chosen – are often the most acute reminders of His Presence. The audible hearing, the tactile touch, the warmth of heartfelt embrace, the joy of laughter, the freshening of tears, bread broken together – all these represent the Presence of Jesus in our midst.

The person with whom I most feel His Presence is my chosen sister, Lila. It is there that I am free to be myself – in all my failures, doubts, wonderings, and fears. I do not feel judgment or condemnation or a need to conform in order to validate her. I do not feel trapped into being always the same, stuck in a single moment of time. I can speak my thoughts and then sort them out and make sense of them so that when I speak them again, they are more closely what I feel and mean. Being in process is not only accepted, it is celebrated with shouts of praise and bemoaning the pain and hurt,  with laughter and tears and joy.

There is such freedom in being challenged to examine oneself – to be intentional in allowing God the room to reveal His glory in and through us. It helps when our eyes are opened to recognize Him as we walks in the way with us. He is alive indeed. He is alive IN US!

 

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