Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Truly Holy Encounter

When Jesus came to the tomb of Lazarus, He became the center of everyone's attention.  Maybe earlier it had been the two sisters, but once He showed up all eyes were on Him and all the conversation was about Him.  What He does is take charge in a powerful way.  With the stage set for the coming forth of Lazarus from the tomb, He lifts His face toward heaven to pray.  As He prays, it is obvious that the words of His prayer are not so much for the Father as they are for those who are standing alongside as mourners.  In His prayer, He prays, "Father, I thank You for having heard Me.  I knew that You always hear Me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here..."  (John 11:42) 
At this point we know what He was doing during those two days He delayed in coming to Bethany.  He was praying.  The Son on earth was having an encounter with the Father in heaven about what was ahead.  Jesus was preparing Himself.  He was getting His life aligned with the will of the Father.  When He arrived there at the tomb of Lazarus, He knew exactly what He was going to do.  Of course, this was not His first encounter from earth with the Father in heaven.  As we read the story known as the gospel, we are aware that He is always pulling Himself away from the crowds and their needs to be alone with His Father.  It is something He did often and always with intentionality.
If only we could see how important this type encounter is in our own journey of faith.  We do too much walking into the future trusting in the wisdom of our own choices.  We look for logic and common sense to guide us.  Whatever is ahead, we move forward believing we can figure it out when we get there.  Think about it, though.  How different life would be if we moved into whatever is ahead having been with the Father in heaven in such a way that we are able to follow His divine guidance into the things that seem beyond our control. 

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