[vc_row fullwidth="false" attached="false" padding="0" visibility="" animation=""][vc_column border_color="" visibility="" width="1/1"][vc_column_text disable_pattern="true" align="left" margin_bottom="0"]I read a book in college called the Bronze Bow. Required reading for a Children's Literature class, I wasn't expecting anything but a completed assignment, yet God chose to surprise me with a beautiful moment between the main character, Daniel, and Jesus. Daniel had lost his father to crucifixion, his mother to a broken heart, and his own soul to seeking revenge. He was bent on taking from the Romans what they had taken from him. He was a hothead (I relate) and his path had been one of an outlaw and rebel (ding, yes that's me)… that is, until he heard the words of a gentle carpenter from Nazareth.
Isn't that just like Jesus? We scheme and devise in our own hearts, we set our course, and no one is going to knock the anger or rage out of our hearts.
Then, with a word, He quiets the storm. The wind has spilled from our darkened sails and the stillness of grace whispers to us.
We can't help but approach, for His goodness compels us. As we move closer, our flesh insists that it's a mistake; it would be better to continue down the road of solving it alone. Something deeper, past logic and emotion, draws us to Him.
Daniel had followed the crowds to where Jesus was staying. He didn't want to be seen, so he waited in the shadows. Many had been waiting to see Jesus all day. They wanted just a touch or a word - to be healed and made whole.
After hours of meeting needs, a few of the disciples emerged from the upper room to say that Jesus was tired and needed to rest. A moan went up from the crowd who were still in lines to see Him, but gradually they hobbled away.
Daniel wouldn't go away that easy. He couldn't leave. He had to see Him. He tiptoed to the top of the stairs and slipped into the upper room. He saw a figure lying on a mat in the corner. Jesus, the God of the universe, was sleeping.
"Who's there?" (As if he didn't know. Funny.)
"It’s me… Daniel."
God was exhausted.
He needed sleep and time alone. Think about that for a moment. Jesus didn't float around, impervious to the stuff of earth. He felt it. Embraced it.
What I love about this moment in the book is the hesitancy of Daniel and the absolute compassion of Jesus. Jesus wakes up, leans in and loves him.
I cried the first time I read through the scene. I think I actually read it a couple of times. I was overwhelmed by this beautiful and exclusive moment that Daniel had with the Savior of the world.
He wasn't listening as part of a crowd. He wasn't reading or hearing about the things Jesus did and said a couple thousand years after. He was with Him. One on one.
We can become too familiar with the Bible stories we have heard hundreds of times. Jesus feeding the 5000. Jesus with the boys by the sea. Jesus with Mary and Martha. Jesus preaching the sermon on the Mount. Last Supper. The Cross. The Tomb. The Ascension.
But what about the in between moments? What happened after the sermon on the mount? What conversations took place behind the curtain of the Bible stories we know?
What about my in between moments? My moments of hurt, sadness, or loneliness? What would it be like to be with Him face to face?
Why do I bring this story up?
Honestly? I needed it. I think He knew that I needed it and jogged the memory from years ago.
We can easily forget that we have a God who loves to be with us. He knows every scattered thought and is never bothered to hear our hearts cry out to Him.
Hebrews 4:15-16 tells us that He is able to understand how you feel right now. He gets it - the exhaustion, the anger, the bitterness, the sadness. It's not foreign to Him. In fact, the beauty of the Incarnation (God becoming human) is that he walked in our dust. He scraped his knee as a little boy, smashed his thumb with a hammer, felt lonely, cried, hurt when he saw others hurt, took abuse and bruising. He didn't just glance over these human experiences. He became them. Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, Isaiah eloquently wrote: "Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering."
The writer of Hebrews also gets it when he tells us to "Boldly approach the throne of grace."
Follow me up the stairs to the upper room. He's waiting for us. You can be sure, He will know who it is and He can't wait to talk to you.[/vc_column_text][mk_icon_box2 icon_type="icon" icon_size="64" icon="mk-li-paper-plane" icon_color="#02b3ff" title="Follow Chad's Blog and never miss a post." title_size="24" title_weight="inherit" title_top_padding="10" title_bottom_padding="10" align="center"]