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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Shut Up!

It would seem that this is my personal retro week as I keep finding myself thinking about special events that happened to me in the 1960’s!  Today I remembered an experience that happened when my mother suddenly decided to go on a unexpected trip downtown.  I can still see that mischievous gleam in her eye when she grabbed her purse and asked if I wanted to go for a special ride with her.  She didn’t say too much in the car until we pulled up in front of a pet shop in the downtown area.  Then she turned to me and announced that we were going to get a dog!
I was so excited at her statement that I thought I would burst!  We bounded out of the car and stuck our noses on the store window where we observed a handful of little white puppies frolicking around inside.  There was one white and brown pooch that was off in the corner by itself and my Mom and I both decided that she was the one!  So we went into the store and talked to the clerk.  When he looked over at me and asked me to step into the window display and go get the dog, I thought that I must be in heaven!  I can’t tell you how excited I was as the little dog cuddled up in a blanket on my lap and contentedly snoozed on the way home.
Once we got home I could no longer contain my joy as my Mom took the dog and told me to go tell my brother and sister about our purchase.  I swung open the door and ran, hopped and skipped across the walkway, madly threw open the front door and ran through the house screaming at the top of my lungs that “We got a dog!  We got a dog!” 
Well, my brother and sister must have figured that I had finally lost my mind when they came out of their rooms and looked at me like I was crazy!  Their confusion at my wild behavior and personal doubts that it could be true (as my Dad had stated on many occasions that he did not want a dog!) was silenced when my Mom calmly walked through the front door with Daisy in her arms.
I don’t recall too much more about that day except for when my Dad came home from work.  To say the least, he was not a happy camper.  If I remember the oft told story, his words were “Okay… you can keep her, but I won’t even look at her!”  But as the story goes, when Daisy began to whimper in her new and yet unknown surroundings in the middle of that first night, it was my Dad that got up and comforted her.  From that moment on he was hooked!  For the next twenty years she and my Dad were bosom buddies, and I also recall his tears when the three of us had to bring Daisy to the vet for her last visit.
I would imagine that the two men who had been with Jesus while traveling on the road to Emmaus in Luke chapter twenty four, reacted close to the same way as me in my childhood experience, as they burst into the room where they “found the eleven apostles and them that were with them gathered together.” (Luke 24:33 God’s Word ©)  The folks in the room must also have thought that the two men had lost their minds and looked at them like they were crazy!  And it wasn’t until Jesus came in and began to talk with them that their confusion, fear and doubt evaporated.
As I was reading this today, I suddenly became aware that the excitement of the two men’s personal experience with Jesus gave them a testimony that they couldn’t hold inside.  They just HAD to go tell someone about Him!  Then I realized that their testimony brought Jesus onto the scene where He removed the listener’s fears and doubts!
Over the past six years my wife and I have personally experienced this chronological order of events when we meet individuals as we walk around the neighborhood, in the store or at a medical visit.  We have consistently seen the doubt, fear and hopelessness in people’s faces and in their words change after we tell them our testimony of our expectations of Jesus as the healer of my wife!  Once we shared a little of His Word on the subject, Jesus came upon the scene and people’s hopes were changed!  I can’t tell you of all the frowns that were turned around into smiles as Jesus’ and His truth were shared.  Luke 24:52 tells us that the former scoffers “worshipped him and were overjoyed” as they returned to Jerusalem to begin their new life assignments after Jesus came on the scene, gave them their marching orders and then “was taken to heaven.” (verse 51)
Another interesting point that I picked up was that once Jesus came on the scene, the two men returning from their abbreviated road trip shut up!  They no longer felt the need to press their point and gave Jesus the complete freedom He needed to change the hearts of the others in that room.  That is also an invaluable lesson that I have learned in our journey with my wife’s health concerns.  I’ve become very aware that there comes a time when those who are so free to force “their advice” or “their thoughts” on us and the plan we are endeavoring to follow under the direction of the Holy Ghost, are totally oblivious to anything I would try to share with them, so I have learned to bow out gracefully and let God be God unto them.
I think that in many ways, you and I are to be like the John the Baptist’s of our world as we encounter needy individuals throughout our day.  Our job is “to prepare the way of the Lord…” (Matthew 3:3 God’s Word ©)  We share our testimony, present His Word and then shut up and allow Jesus to take it from there!  It is not our job to have the last say in any discussion, but to yield the final Word to Him!
What do you say?  Give it a try today.  Speak the part that is yours, then just shut up and let Jesus close the deal!  Have a great day.  Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who and I expecting to give the final Word to today?”


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