On Wednesday of this week, my job got "sunned-out." That's the same thing as rained-out, except it is a lot hotter and a lot dryer. I was scheduled do some work on the structure of a metal roof; but it was simply too hot to touch.
So, I decided to spend part of my unexpected holiday talking to the Lord. I stopped by a beautiful local park and found a good view of its small lake in the deep shade of some old growth trees. As I positioned myself under the trees, I noticed a steady 5 mph breeze off the lake. It was super nice. But the best part was yet to come.
As I sat there in what seemed a perfect environment, the Lord came in such a perceptable way. We talked casually about a number of my fears, my issues, and other people that I was concerned about, and their issues. I had a long list of thank-you's and personal sentiments. And the morning flowed past. It came time for me to leave and go try to fill at least some of the missed income for that business day. Life insisted, "It's time to go!" But I didn't think so. So, I decided to refused.
I decided that the conditions were simply to perfect, the Lord's immanent presence was too precious, and this exact moment would never come again. So, I simply refused to go. I said, "No, I'm not going to leave this perfect moment, for one that is much more flawed." And I didn't.
I know that bad is on the rise. And, I must admit, these times and a great many of the people of these times worry me. I know that the present generations are in an existential transition, the likes of which the world has never seen.
I am personally convinced that in the near future, just as God's Word predicts, there will be a collision between the physical and the spiritual planes. I am equally convinced that the early stages of that collision are not going to be pleasant for anyone. And, my humble assessment is that the present turbulent sea of human activity which is rising quickly and becoming "stormish" is simply a precursor to that event. So, in a word, the long view of our short future is certainly disconcerting, at least to my simple mind.
But for some of us, and I am happy to be in the group, there is a recurring and perpetual calming. He speaks to us in tones of strength and confidence. He meets us in quiet places to encourage, to provide perspective, to give us a sense of position on every plane of life, whether spiritual, political, historical, intellectual, psychological, or emotional. He can do that because He is Christ - the Savior of the world and the God Almighty.
When I was converted so many years ago, and became a willing follower of my unseen Savior, I had no idea how just how blessed I was about to be. But, from day one, Christ made Himself available to me, as He does to all of His true followers. He came in various ways: as an inner voice, as an invisible guide through every circumstance of life - from hard to happy. He came as a constant inner Companion to help me correctly interpret life, to understand the hidden but essential things of this world - and the one to come. From the very beginning, He has been a faithful counselor, advisor, watchman, and friend.
But, make no mistake, he is by no means the "bell hop" in this very confirming relationship. If anything that is my part to play - but it is certainly not His. He is, unmistakably, the unchallenged Ruler of all realities and all that is in them. And therein lies the calming.
Tonight, as I write this, the Savior is not the least bit intimidated by any of the powers of this world or their conflicts. He is not at all fearful of the rising bad. He harbors zero concern that evil might actually triumph. He is not, in the least, disconcerted by the turbulence and storms that are building across the face of present human events.
Why? Because He is ever in charge of it all. From the individual moments of every day to the great tidal waves of a looming future, Christ, alone, says "what goes." Every creature, whether man or beast, can only play perfectly into His ultimate plan. He cannot be bested, outsmarted, surprised, or out maneuvered. He is completely and confidently in charge of all things; and no detail escapes Him. He simply knows nothing of crisis - only of perfect management.
And as we come near Him, through the enlarged access that He grants to true love, His confidence touches us. And our own frail confidence is restored. We are reassured by the perfect peace that attends His strength.
The day will always insist that other things are more important than time alone with Him. It will attempt to make us feel exposed and at risk if we dare to do such a thing. It will always remind us of the pressing material issues.
But to succumb to those pressures is to miss the majesty of what Christ offers. The door that He flings so widely open for us is the door of restoration. To experience the privileged access is to know the resolution of our fears, the healing of our wounds, the drying of our tears, and the gift of new inspiration.
So here is the simple reality that empowers our correct response to Christ's offer of divine access: The day does not rule Christ. Christ rules the day - and effortlessly. So, it's OK to refuse to be pressured from His renewing presence.