NOT IF, BUT WHEN (Part 2)

Scripture:  Mark 9:36-37- "And He [Jesus]took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in His arms, He said to the disciples, 'Whosoever receives one of such children in my name, receives me: and whosoever receives me, receives not me, but Him who sent me.'"

During a trip to Disneyland nearing 30 years ago, all being wonderful, amazing, and did I say 'wonderful?', there came about an unexpected shift, when I heard Debora utter this one word, abruptly bringing everything to a halt (well, actually, I just paused]. It was not loud, but the inflection attached to it was used only rarely. The word, a name, 'Robert' was followed by "...Neal, do you see 'Robert'?"...followed by 'anywhere?'. This was soon followed intensely by both of us increasingly calling out, disrupting the bustling crowd of toddler-totin' grownups, confused lookin' dads, hot-flashin' moms, and a virtual mega-soup of teenagers and grandparents, unks, and aunties. While looking for our son, I was baffled at how so many of the crowd fit his description, but luckily he had a rare first name so when I called out 'Bobby!', only 1,257 heads turned. (I think there was a Robert Convention in Orlando that week] He just seemed to disappear in a matter of seconds, and for 5 minutes, with Sean [our youngest] in tow, we were on high alert, asking if anyone had seen him. We probably looked a lil crazy. [at this point Minnie Mouse ceased being cute]
We were on the edge, hopes on high-tilt bordering on panic. In crunch-time, you wonder if you will be what you need to be... if ya 'got what it takes.
So, then he just showed up innocently, finished with the attraction that drew him away, brought to us by a staffer there. Thank you Jesus!
'Robert' spoken the way it was by my wife, was all it took [for me to be shook].
After a brief chit-chat, 'Robert' became 'Bobby' again, and the place of our shaking was restored to Disneyland.

Our imaginations and presuppositions can prompt fear, and pessimism, and doubt, to 'beset us easily', morphing our preferred patience to panic, and our prayer to worry. If the world lacked trouble we wouldn't need "Let us lay aside every weight", and 'every' means 'every',"and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1 But, we do need it, for the world we have, and for the way we can be in it. We can "become weary and faint in our minds." Hebrews 12:3, but the endearing work and sacred relief is to "consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself..." and without ceasing, to "Look unto Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith..."Hebrews 12:2
The life we have is likened to a marathon, inviting the patient race whereof with right considering and selective gaze we are sufficiently nourished for it, for whatever length we are given to have...Consider [and continue considering] Him... Look unto Jesus!

Here's where our little event might've gone south. It seemed to be all about us, us missing Bobby, the trauma and the drama of it all, but...what if it was about the teenage staffer at Disneyland, who brought Bobby to us [or whom God led Bobby to bring to us]?
Our enjoying that expensive trip to Disneyland might not have been the point. Maybe it was about that teenager, and his legacy, and that of his family. Maybe it was about the opportunity, the open door, to share Jesus with him, or if a Christian already, to encourage him in the faith.
If that was the point, then it was missed. And so I cannot remember his face. I do not recall his name. We had not shared Christ with him.

God's ways are not our ways, and we should not assume, any given moment as trivial, or other than what it is- mercy, and the open door of blessing.

Jesus embraced a little boy which, for the lack of attendant dialogue, I am sure the disciples were detached from... after all they had just seen Jesus transfigured, and saw a drastically-possessed young man [whom they could not help] be delivered by Jesus. Beyond that, they were in the throes of discussing who among themselves was the greatest [Mark 9:33-35] So Jesus is there with some neighborhood kid. John was so impressed as to try changing the subject [v.38] observing some dude, not of them, going around doing their thing, even in Jesus' name, casting out devils and stuff.

Sometimes we just have to be still and know that He is God... and we will see just what He brings forth as important for the moment, by which His intention and our own, hopefully, might come to agree.

"Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receives me, and whosoever receives me, receives not me, but Him that sent me."  Mark 9:37

Prayer: Turn these eyes upon You, Lord. Let me see through the lens of Your ways, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of Your glorious gaze. Amen!

(by Dr. McNeal Brockington)


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