Jon Michael Ogletree
Grab A Lawn Chair
Adam and Eve had a remarkable relationship with God in the Garden of Eden. They walked with Him, had audible conversations with Him and followed Him wholeheartedly without the presence of sin. This was relatively short-lived, as Shalom ended once they chose sin over God. Thankfully for us, the story of God’s love for humanity did not end. He continues to dwell with His people, although He has done so in many different ways. His presence was carried in the Ark of the Covenant, He lived a perfect life as man here on earth, and He lives today in His people, empowering them as the Holy Spirit.
Today, it's difficult imagining what life as a Believer would be like without the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Equally unimaginable is what it would be like to literally follow Jesus as
His disciples did. Similar to Adam and Eve, they walked with Him and had audible conversations with Him. During that time, some amazing things happened. First, they believed that Jesus was the one true Messiah foretold in the Old Testament. They knew He was the One true Son of God, and the Lord of all things. They placed their entire hope in Him, as they should have. However, when they heard the news that He died, all of their hope was lost. This should not have been the case though, because Jesus told His disciples multiple times that He was going to die and resurrect on the third day. Mark 9:32 says “But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.”
I am just like the disciples. Jesus has told me many things very plainly, and I don’t understand them and am too afraid to ask. He has promised me that all situations will work for my good if I love Him. Why am I surprised when something happens that Jesus tells me is going to happen? When I have trouble in this world, He told me that would happen. When I'm persecuted for believing in Him, He told me that would happen. Or on the flip-side, when He is faithful and answers my prayers, He told me that would happen. The common thread is my lack of faith, and the disciples certainly lacked faith right after Jesus was crucified.
How would the story be different if the disciples did understand and believe? When Jesus came out of the tomb, they should have been lined up in lawn chairs waiting for Him to rise! This should have been a Times Square ball-drop countdown moment, with a hopeful celebration when their Lord would return to them on the third day. So if they should have done this, shouldn't we? I think we would be remised if we didn't! The next problem we face, and all the problems after that, we need to just grab a lawn chair and watch it all work out for our good and His glory. I fully recognize this is easier said than done, as there are innumerable heart-breaking circumstances that arise, making lawn-chair living seemingly impossible. We're called to do it though, and we're given the strength to do it too.
It’s always worth it to rest in His promises and believe that He’s fighting for you.
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."- Exodus 14:14
Be encouraged, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with us!