All right, so you’re not God. We can pretty much agree on that.
I’m guessing that if you were God, you’d have changed your life around a bit, made things a little easier on yourself, on some loved ones, and even on some worthy strangers.
Would you have made things more difficult for some others too? If you’re like me and if I were being Honest, I’d have to say I’d have
probably definitely made life more difficult for some who I think “deserve” to have life made more difficult! I’d claim to be a Just God, but perhaps I’d be more of just a revenge god!
Would you have played with the timing of events a bit too? Would you have opened your eyes to the future of your Marriage before saying “I do” perhaps? Would you have kept working outside your home despite wanting to stay home with your children so you wouldn’t be in such financial despair now? How differently could you have made world history turn out if you had just tweaked God’s timing a bit, made it perhaps a little better, more perfect…
Did I really just say that? Do I really think we can perfect what God allows???
God is God and He has given man free will to make his own decisions, to follow God’s way or the fool’s way to Hell. God allows man’s actions to determine timing, but God also sees things we cannot when we are blinded by the veil of circumstances of the moment. God has the ability to use our free will and the timing we bring about to develop a plan for life He brings about.
So, we’ve established we are not God. Phew! That takes some of the pressure off and now we can look at Sunday’s Gospel reading and see what part of Isaiah Jesus read in the synagogue and how else we are not like God! Jesus stands before all in the synagogue and reads from Isaiah,
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.
It must have been read a hundred, no a thousand times in synagogues all over the region before that particular day, and yet only in this one instance are things changed.
We can picture the wise pharisees, secure in their positions as church leaders, arrogant in the place they hold in society, looking upon Jesus as He read these ancient Old Testament words. Perhaps they scorned Him. Perhaps they were jealous of the attention He was already beginning to receive. Perhaps they were visiting from the outskirts and, having not yet heard of Him, looked upon Him as one would look upon any, ordinary person reading that day.
But then something happened as Jesus handed the scroll back.
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus tells them who He is. He is the one who has come to fulfill the Scriptures, the anointed one, the one to bring glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed, and to proclaim year of the Lord.
And there was such doubt among those present. Imagine the faces of the pharisees, their jaws dropping, the scandal causing furrows in their brows, the heat that crept up from beneath their robes, over their necks to pound furiously in red faces.
Imagine the outsiders, those not in the pharisees’ inner circle, the man alone in the last row, the woman, serving in the background who had overheard the declaration, her jaw dropping, the astonishment, the questions, the disbelief, the fear for this crazy man, the curiosity, the wonder…
Jesus knew His purpose. He came for one reason and one reason only. He was called to save mankind from itself. His destiny was written in the Scriptures, His path was laid out with no deviation presented.
And still, when He stood up and declared who He was, he was doubted, ridiculed, knocked down.
You are not God.
How much more difficult is it for you to stand up and declare who you are? How many more challenges await your doing so? Perhaps you don’t even know who you are or what path you are meant to take. Where there had once been a clear cut direction in your role as spouse and parent, there now seems to be muddled confusion, part time parenting, blackness inside of you where the rosy feeling of being a spouse had once danced.
Jesus’ way had been clear for Him. The Man part of Him may have wished things different, but He always knew He’d choose the way of the Father and that that choosing both limited and fulfilled His purpose.
You do not know your destiny. Your way is not clearly laid out. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow, never mind years down the road, but by being like Jesus, by limiting your choices by direction from the Father, you can fulfill your purpose. You don’t need to know what that purpose is right now, you just need to stand up and commit to doing it time and again.
Jesus stood up and declared who He was in the temple that day and was met with harsh rebuke. You are not God. You can expect that when you stand up for yourself, not in an arrogant, look-at-me way, but in a I-Am-Confident-in-my role-as-a Child-of God way, you will face those who wish to knock you down whether it is through a spouse who has turned into your greatest enemy, undermining you at every turn, your children who rebel and throw the other parent in your face, a job loss or a career disappointment, or temptation in the form of dating before God’s timing says it’s all right to do so, lust, impatience, greed, sloth, or depression…
So many obstacles arise when we try to assert ourselves, when we begin to discover who we are.
Jesus understood that. He experienced that.
But He did not let it stop Him from declaring Himself to be who He was.
Don’t let it stop you either.
Be like Jesus! Declare your worth, find your path. Show who you are meant to be, even when you are not sure of it yourself. You don’t need your destiny written in Scripture. You don’t need to know every twist and turn in your path. All you need to do is know you are meant to be a beloved Child of God and declare that right.
Some steps on my path to this realization…
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