Last night proved to be an interesting evening. Soon after we had retired for the day I found myself totally enveloped in my new Clive Cussler action- mystery “Fargo Adventures Series” novel entitled “The Eye of Heaven.” This new series in the author’s long line of mysteries follows the fictional adventures of a married couple who are world renowned treasure hunters named Sam and Remi Fargo. I find it humorous how the female lead tends to remind me of my own wife.
The character in the book is always up for any new adventure no matter how impossible the plan may be. She exhibits a personal confidence and spark of sassiness that I have always seen in Piper! The only difference is that the fictional character has long red hair while my wife’s is brown… although I do occasionally catch a glimpse of red highlights in her hair that must come from her Dad’s side of the family since both he and his brother are redheads!
But back to my original thought… As you can tell it is quite easy for me to get sidetracked over my lovely wife! My imaginary scuba diving with the heroes of the story was suddenly disturbed when I heard the faint sounds of sirens coming from streets outside our neighborhood. Our apartment home is in a community unto itself. There are only two entrances in and out and from most of the apartments there are no direct views to the town outside our tree lined borders. Well, those faint sounds got louder and within a few moments I had set my ebook aside and focused my listening as it was clear that there were numerous fire engines responding to whatever their call was.
After a few minutes the sirens quieted, I took a few moments to hand the situation over to the Lord, as my wife always did whenever she heard sirens, and went back to reading. But my reading was short lived as my attention was drawn to the roving light that reflected through the blinds on our large bedroom window and the sound of men talking over a two-way radio! With that I turned to my wife and then over to our dog standing with her ears peeked as she glanced my way and I said… “Hummm, now this is getting interesting!”
Well, to make a not too long story even shorter, it would seem that all those trucks were responding to an alarm at our apartment community! And while I didn’t step outside clad only in my jogging pants and socks, I did discreetly turn out the lights and look out a window or two only to see the reflection of flashing red lights off the bushes outside our bedroom and living room windows. After a little time the adventure seemed to be over, the flashing lights disappeared and silence once again returned to our quaint bedroom. It took me a few minutes, but I finally returned to my Kindle book and within moments was scuba diving at Sam and Remi’s (or Piper’s!) side…
All that adventure last night got me to thinking about how Jesus’ return to Nazareth after His three day adventure in the Temple must have been similar to how I felt following the multiplicity of fire trucks responsing to our home. Life suddenly returned to normal and the excitement of the moment was over. As I mentioned yesterday, Jesus was probably most satisfied when He was “about His Father’s business.” (Luke 2:49 Jubilee Bible). After the Jerusalem adventure at twelve years of age, He went back to His former life as a youth growing up under the tutelage of His earthly parents. The first thought that comes to my mind as I think about His predicament is: “BORING!”
But as I read Luke 2:52 I get a totally different picture of how Jesus must have responded to the letdown after getting a taste of His ministry to come. The God’s Word translation tells us that once Jesus returned home he “grew in wisdom and maturity. He gained favor from God and man.” That short and simple view into Jesus’ life from twelve until His public ministry at the age of about thirty says a lot! To me it demonstrates how Jesus bloomed where He was planted! I am sure that He was a little disappointed at having to return home for another eighteen years, but that small insight into His “in-between time” tells me that instead of whining and complaining, that He kept His focus on His call and thereby on the voice of Papa God until such time as He was perfectly prepared to face and perform what was ahead for Him!
Today marks the end of another year and allows us a peak into the expectations of the New Year ahead. In other words, it gives us the opportunity to look back, to look ahead and to look to Him! As He related the story of the Good Shepherd, Jesus stated that “After he has brought out all his sheep, he walks ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice… I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep as the Father knows me. My sheep know me as I know the Father.” (John 10:4&14 God’s Word ©)
It would seem that the key to Jesus' success during His “in-between time” was that He knew the Father. The word “know” demonstrates a very intimate, personal and physical knowledge of His Father. In that verse Jesus also declares that this is the type of relationship that He desires His followers - we His brothers and sisters - to have with Him! Close, upfront and very personal… just like a husband has with his wife!
If you should find yourself in an “in-between time” today, tomorrow or at any time in the New Year, Jesus is showing and telling us to joyfully and successfully go through it by staying in an ever-growing and intimate relationship with Him! To not give into the natural urge to complain or feel sorry for yourself (that’s one I’ve had to deal with lately!), but to focus evermore strongly and single-mindedly on Him and His Word! Then even though you may not be real excited about where you are at the time, you will continue to grow in favor with God and man… just like Jesus did as He waited for eighteen years to pass before He could enter fully into the ultimate calling Papa God had planned for Him!
So, as you celebrate this New Year’s Eve, celebrate all that Jesus has done for you in 2014, all that He is doing for you right now and all that He will be doing for you in the year ahead! Be happy NOW! No matter where you find yourself, stay EXPECTANT and rejoice and be glad for “This is the day (and the New Year) that the Lord has made…” (Psalm 118:24 God’s Word ©) Dedicate yourself to getting to intimately KNOW the Good Shepherd better and closer this year than you have ever known Him before… then on this day one year from today you’ll look back and see how you have increased “in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man!” (Luke 2:52 ESV)
Have a blessed, joyful, worshipful and safe New Years… and throughout the evening, keep asking yourself “Where and on Whom am I EXPECTING to keep my focus on in 2015?”