Monday, December 20, 2010

16th Day in Hospital

Something very profound happened last Wednesday when I was on the operating table, ready to have a much anticipated procedure and heard the Dr. say, "I can't do this; there's too much fluid in his abdomen." I was crushed with disappointment, almost to the point of tears. But then almost as if he had appeared in person, I was aware that Jesus was there. Jesus was there and it made all the difference. I know It’s nothing new or profound to say that Jesus was there but, for me at least, it is an entirely new and profound experience of Jesus. I have always believed and given testimony to the fact that Jesus is always with us; its one of the bedrock beliefs sustaining Christian hope and engendering courage to be faithful. But I have to say that God has moved me to a far deeper experience of Jesus' presence than I had even imagine existed. And that presence brings with it such profound peace and deep joy that one can hardly contain oneself.

In the deep disappointment after the procedure was canceled, Jesus was there; I was not alone. Addressing the feelings of anger at the staff's oversight that left me with a bellyful of fluid, was Jesus - forgiving, loving, reaching out to them in their embarrassment and regret. Jesus' response to them translated into my own feelings of compassion and empathy for them.
Jesus' promise in Matt. 28 "And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the world," has become a tangible reality in these days as have the many promises in John that Jesus will never leave us alone. So, if you are still reading, I'd like to just give testimony to what we all know is true, but sometimes in the chaos of everyday life, lose sight of: Jesus is always there. Always! Jesus is always there. Whether one as been faithful or unfaithful, Jesus is there. Whether one is full of praise or anger at God, Jesus is there. When the doctor gives the scary prognosis, Jesus is there. When the letter from the IRS comes demanding money, Jesus is there. When the notice of foreclosure is given, Jesus is there. When the police call with tragic news, Jesus is there. In the midst of conflict with a co-worker, Jesus is there. When relations break down in a family, Jesus is there. When one feels bitter regret, Jesus is there. When one cannot forgive, Jesus is there. In the heat of temptation, Jesus is there. Jesus is always there - always - always. In times of conflict among one's faith community, Jesus is there. In a frustrating meeting for business, Jesus is there. When one is at a loss as to what to do next, Jesus is there. And, more easily believed, Jesus is there in all the good times as well. Jesus is always there. Always.

I'm sure I have said nothing new, but I felt compelled to share this new sense of Jesus' presence with you. If you are discouraged, be heartened, Jesus is there. If you are afraid, Jesus is there. If you are filled with joy, Jesus is there. If you feel abandoned, Jesus is there. If you are brokenhearted, Jesus is there. Always.

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