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Waiting to be noticed

Many of us expect God to "appear" one way (the way we imagine in our minds), but is the way we 'expect' he will appear in our lives accurate? Do we expect him to "perform" in a certain manner (with the plans we have so carefully calculated), but then get disillusioned when he seems to perform a different way? When he doesn't "appear" or "perform" as we imagined, how do we handle it? For some of us, we get mad at God for a while and go silent on him - because he did not "fit" our "mold" of how he should act. The Jewish religious leaders of Christ's time probably had this same kind of "mental argument" with Jesus as he walked this earth - simply because he didn't "fit the mold" of how they envisioned the arrival or actions of their Messiah! They missed out on so much of what Jesus wanted to do in and through them simply because they refused to believe Jesus could "operate" outside of their mind's conceived "box". They looked for a warrior to deliver them from Roman rule - but he came as a Lamb to deliver them from an even greater enemy - their own sinfulness!

A lot of people followed him, and he healed them all. He also cautioned them to keep it quiet, following guidelines set down by Isaiah: Look well at my handpicked servant; I love him so much, take such delight in him. I've placed my Spirit on him; he'll decree justice to the nations. But he won't yell, won't raise his voice; there'll be no commotion in the streets. He won't walk over anyone's feelings, won't push you into a corner. Before you know it, his justice will triumph; the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even among far-off unbelievers. (Matthew 12:15-21)

Jesus had accumulated quite a group of followers - some more curious than dedicated to his service - but all following with the hope of his touch - if not for a selfless reason, at least for the thrill of it. He never asked them to get "rowdy" or have a revolution against the leaders of the time. Instead, he went about his work, healing those who came to him, teaching those with open hearts, and spreading hope to the hopeless. He even indulged some of the 'looky-loos' who were just there, but not really sure why they were. These were probably drawn in by the crowds around Jesus - more like the 'herd mentality' - they were there because others were, not because they made up their mind themselves.  Why did Jesus caution the crowds to keep quiet about his actions? He knew the cross would come, but he knew the time was NOT NOW. He had much to do before that day - and each thing he did fulfilled scripture's recorded prophesies of him.

He was led by the Spirit of God. Even Jesus took his lead from the Holy Spirit as he walked this earth! Is it any wonder God asks the same of us? Certainly not! There is not only guidance in taking our lead from the Holy Spirit, but their is protection and great wisdom! He was not boisterous or loud in his action. Jesus does more in the quietness of a single touch than we could ever hope to accomplish in the many activities of our own effort! He doesn't need to yell to get noticed - he is all around us - we simply need to look hard enough to see him! He respected the feelings of others. Jesus never needed to back a soul into the corner to touch his life! We may feel a little "backed into the corner" sometimes - but it usually our doing which gets us into the corner! Jesus simply waits for us to discover the limits of our own attempts at "saving ourselves", respectfully waiting for our surrender. Even if we are a little bit of a 'looky-loo' to begin with, he is patient to allow us the 'space' to come the conclusion we need what he offers.

He knew the power and hope in his name. He was never afraid to have his name spoken. Have you ever overheard someone speaking your name in a conversation and wondered just what they were saying about you? In a moment, you may run several scenarios through your head - considering if you said, did, or overlooked something for which you were now the topic of discussion. We call this "paranoia"! Jesus never worried about his name being spoken - simply because it was backed up with his power and his hope (grace). The various ways we "imagine" God may not always align with the image we should have of him! He is a quiet God - yet his name carries such "weight" (power). He is a caring God - yet his "delay" may give us the fear he is not aware of or concerned with our need. He is a compassionate God - respecting us enough to give us time to yield to his touch. Maybe today is your day to meet God in the stillness of this moment! He won't yell to be noticed. In fact...we may just have to get a little quieter to actually hear him speak! Just sayin!

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