Thursday, August 12, 2010

facing the unknown

The 11 remaining Disciples (now Apostles) watched Jesus ascend into Heaven.  Their bright and shining star was no longer in their midst.  They must have felt at least a momentary shock as they tried to figure out what to do next.  They couldn't take their eyes off the sky, even after Jesus had gone.  It may have felt something like watching the vapor trails of the Apollo moon launches, well after the rocket had passed out of sight.  They were brought back to reality by two angels who reassured them with these words from Acts chapter1, verse 11 They also said, 'Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky?  This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go intdo heaven.'  The angels gave them hope and Jesus had given them a promise.  Jesus had promised that, if they waited in Jerusalem the Holy Spirit would come to them and baptize them in a matter of days.  So the Apostles faced a future filled with unknown experiences, dangers and purpose with the certainty of hope, promise and confidence in the Jesus they had come to know personally.  As a result, they did three things: (1) obeyed Jesus command to return to Jerusalem, (2) stuck together as one unified body of believers and (3) began a new relationship with their Lord based on prayer. 
It occurs to me that we, also, have many unknowns in our lives.  We really don't know much of what the rest of our lives will be like.  We don't know how or when we will die.  We walk through the present with a piece of our minds always wondering about the future.  We want to please the Lord but we are aware of our weakness and our tendency to stumble.  But, like the Apostles in the first chapter of Acts we have the same hope, promise and experience that they did.  The hope of Heaven and of Jesus' return is ours.  The promise of Jesus' fellowship through the Holy Spirit is extended to us.  The experience of knowing Jesus personally has come to each of us who have simply put our life-trust in Him.  We have come to believe that the future is unknown to us, but is completely known and under the control of Him. 
We don't need to stare into the sky regretting a loss...we can look into the sky and embrace His presence and return to our lives with assurance and purpose.
Rob Smith

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