Don’t Leave Us Again
Sometimes we wonder how many more times we can take disappointment. Over the past 2 months it seems like some weeks we have taken two steps forward and then back a step. Some weeks it has been even worse, feeling like it has been two steps back and in our hearts we cry out, “Enough is enough”.
I wonder if that is not how the disciples felt the day Jesus left them again. For three years they had followed Him closely, convinced He was the promised Messiah who would set them free from Rome. Then they watched Him die on a Cross and with His death came the death of their hopes and dreams. But then three days later He arose from the dead and their hope was renewed. For the next forty days He periodically appeared to them, even had a meal with them by the Sea of Galilee. Acts 1 records how convinced they were that He was alive so in Acts 1:6 we read that they asked Him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
They were convinced that the time had come. They were ready to get out of their holding pattern and get on with the life they wanted and expected. Jesus responded, according to verse 7 “That is none of your business. Some things are best left for God to work out in His time.” (Dixon translation.) Then to make things worse, right before their very eyes He ascended into heaven. That was the last thing the disciples expected. They had a plan, God had another. Their plan was to quickly get out of the mess they were in. God’s plan was for Jesus to leave them. It was, for the disciples, one step forward and two backwards. I cannot even imagine what was going through the minds of the disciples as they saw Him rise further and further away from them. Steps backward are never easy or fun.
But God was aware of how they felt so we read in verses 10 and 11 that He sent two angels to tell them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” As God always does, when we are most discouraged or in the deepest need of encouragement and peace, He comes to us and reminds us that He has a plan for us and that it is a perfect plan. Ultimately, He is in control.
I think this is one of those times when we need to hear that assurance. Nothing is going the way we think it should. It appears that God has once again left us. We find it hard to remember His promise to always be with us and care for us. But His promises are certain. So when we are tempted to stare into space and wonder why He has left us, we need to hear Him tell us He has not left. He has merely ascended into heaven where He works on our behalf. That gives us a thousand steps forward and none backward.
By the way, tomorrow (May 21) is Ascension Day, that is when Jesus ascended into heaven40 days after His resurrection. Thanks, Mark, for reminding us of that truth.
- New Daily Breads for June-August are available. Email me if you want one and I will mail one to you. There are also some at the church if you have a key and want to pick one up there and, of course, you can get one online.
- Starting next Wednesday, a Zoom Bible study looking at the life of Abraham. Links will be sent later.
- Don’t forget to send your offerings to Deb. R.
- Another good Zoom service.
- Several on our prayer list have undergone successful procedures and are getting stronger each day.
- Tomorrow (Thursday) Grace K. expects to be transferred from Schoolhouse Square to Tremont. Pray for a safe transfer and adjustments.
- Continue to pray for Mae who is getting weaker and really wants to go home to be with Jesus.