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Let it unfold, God

At times I expect God to do things a certain way just because I know he did them that way before. I forget that he is the God of Creation - meaning he is not 'locked into' one way of doing things. He doesn't have to do things he same way each time, but the principles of how he moves are generally pretty consistent. Do you ever expect God to "appear" or "move" one way (the way you imagine in your mind)? Do you expect him to "perform" in a certain manner (the plans you have so carefully calculated or devised that you want him to follow)? 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, or a little bit confused by his actions - because he did not "fit" our "mold" of how we thought he should act. The Pharisees 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 of their Messiah - he didn't "fit" the mold of the religion of the day! 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" - their image of who Jesus would be and how he would move among them.

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)

There was quite a group of followers - some more curious than dedicated to his service - but all following with some form of hope they might receive his touch. 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. Why did Jesus caution the crowds to keep quiet? 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 something 'miraculous', it 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 (and even expects) 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! If Jesus was directed by the Spirit of God, we can assuredly see the need for this same direction in our lives - because we don't know it all, we aren't always spot on with our timing, and we aren't always sure of where we are headed!

He was not boisterous or loud in his action. Jesus did more in the quietness of a single touch than any man could ever hope to accomplish in the many activities of their own efforts! He doesn't need to yell to get noticed - he is all around us, as he was all around them - we simply need to look hard enough to see him - to notice he is there! He respected the feelings of others. Jesus never needed to back a soul into the corner in order to touch that individual's life! There are times we may feel a little "backed into the corner" - but it usually our own doing which gets us into that corner! Jesus simply waits for us to discover the limits of our own attempts at "saving ourselves", respectfully waiting for our surrender, admitting that the "corner" has us pretty doggone confined. 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 it was 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 could call this "paranoia"! Jesus never worried about his name being spoken - simply because it was backed up with his power and his hope (something we would come to discover meant grace).

The various ways we "imagine" God will move or act may not always align with the image we actually should have of him! He is a quiet God - yet his name carries such "weight" (power) - he doesn't need to shout to get our attention. He is a caring God - yet his "delay" in some timing within our lives may give us the fear he is not aware of our need. He is a compassionate God - respecting us enough to give us time to yield to his touch even when we may not have any inclination to do so at first. Maybe today is your day to meet God in the stillness of this very moment! He won't yell to be noticed. In fact...we may just have to get a little quieter to actually hear him speak and observe him move. When we are quiet enough and cease from other activities that actually keep us from noticing how he is moving, we might just be amazed to discover what it is he has been unfolding all around us. Just sayin!

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