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Monday, May 9, 2016

Abandoned



The truth is, the days between the ascension and Pentecost are really hard for me.  I feel as if so many people read the story of the ascension and come out saying, "Yay, Jesus!  You returned to the Father!  Everything is great now!"  But I feel, perhaps, a little bit like Mary might have in John 20 when Jesus instructed her not to hold onto him or not to cling to him.  My question would have been, "Why not?" 

As horrible as this probably sounds, the ascension feels like abandonment to me.  It seems like a cruel joke.  Jesus was dead... and then Jesus was alive again... and then Jesus was gone!  Where is the hope in that?  Jesus leaves and then waits ten days to send the Holy Spirit.  It seems to me to be the period of history when God is the least present to the people.  I don't like it.

But let's hit the rewind button for just a moment:

Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (NIV).

This is Old Testament stuff.  This is pre-incarnation stuff.  This is the God we cannot see but who exists with us, nevertheless.  Always. 

Is there such a thing as a godforsaken town or a godforsaken people?  Maybe not.

And so we wait.

"Solitude well practiced will break the power of busyness, haste, isolation, and loneliness. You will see that the world is not on your shoulders after all. You will find yourself, and God will find you in new ways. Silence also brings Sabbath to you. It completes solitude, for without it you cannot be alone. Far from being a mere absence, silence allows the reality of God to stand in the midst of your life. God does not ordinarily compete for our attention. In silence we come to attend." - Dallas Willard
 
L.

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