The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Expecting the Unexpected"
Just as the Lord Jesus Christ lived His earthly lifetime with "no form nor comeliness" and "no beauty that we should desire Him," His working in our lives often follows the same mode of the challenging and the unexpected (Isaiah 53:2).
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
"Righteous judgment" beckons us to look for the Lord in mangers no less today than in His birth so long ago. We also do well to remember He lived the first thirty years of His life in such an ordinary manner that when His ministry began, His own brothers did not know who He was (John 7:5). Religious and civil leaders rejected Him then, even as they often do in our day. He would ultimately be put away completely, condemned to death, and then even in resurrection, seen only by a relative few of the population living at the time of His risen glory (I Corinthians 15:6). He would ultimately send His Spirit to dwell within the hearts of those who believe. However, the preponderance of our Lord's working in their lives would continue in ways that often perplex even the most faithful among us (including the Apostle Paul - II Corinthians 4:8).
Where might God presently work according to the "no form… no comeliness… no beauty" way of the Lord Jesus in our lives? Might that difficult person at work, or in the neighborhood, or at church, or even at home, fit the manger protocol? Could that thorn, seemingly unremovable, actually indicate our Father's purpose to reveal a grace known only when accompanied by pain and blood? (II Corinthians 12:7-9). Does the Lord Jesus await us on what seems to be only a cross, but which actually serves as prelude to a resurrection we could never know apart our own personal Calvary? If we look only for form, comeliness, and beauty from God's involvement in our lives, we may well miss the wonders He reveals in ways unexpected and undesired. "Surely the Lord is in this place. And I knew it not!" (Genesis 28:16).
The day will come when we will see with tearless eyes the Lord Jesus upon His throne. All sorrow, suffering, pain, and perplexity will be forgotten, and we will find God in ways far more expected and pleasant. This is not that day. No, this is the day to rejoice when we find Him in ways of obvious beauty and delight. But it is also the day to remember - and rejoice - that He will often meet us where we least expect His greeting. The history and doctrinal declarations of Scripture lose all meaning if this is not true. Moreover, we lose much if we fail to fill our hearts with expectation of the unexpected presence and way of God in our lives. Long ago, a manger bore the Son of God after His birth, even as a cross bore Him in His death. Both tell us much of our Father's way, His unexpected way, we must expect.
"And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."
Weekly Memory Verse
Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.