Unaware of His Presence

A sweet group of women are reading my book and have formed the very first Mary Group. It’s been so enlightening and inspiring to sit with these women for ten weeks and hear their answers to the discussion questions after the chapters. We have each been encouraged by one another’s testimonies of the work of God, the presence of Jesus in our lives. I’ve learned a lot from them.

This week we read one of the chapters on Mary Magdalene. The title of the chapter is Desperate for Jesus; it’s about Mary’s search for Jesus the morning of His Resurrection. It’s a famous scene, an endearing scene, one of my favorites. (I have a lot of favorites!)

As we were discussing this chapter, we talked about Mary’s inability to recognize Jesus when she bumped into His feet and presumed He was the gardener. Have you wondered why she didn’t recognize Him or His voice? This was their Rabbi! Their Messiah! She had listened to His voice for hours and hours on end.

Perhaps she didn’t recognize Him because He wasn’t bloody and dirty. Or perhaps she didn’t even look into His face. She could’ve had her face to the ground when she asked “the gardener” where he had put Jesus. Whatever the reason, she didn’t hear Him or feel His presence until He called her by name.

It struck me today that this is a perfect example of the times I can’t feel Jesus or hear Him and therefore believe He’s not there. Yet this example proves He can be there and is there even if I’m not aware of His resurrected presence.

Wow.

Even when frantically searching for Jesus, I can miss the fact that He is right beside me.

When Jesus called her by name, His reality was revealed to Mary Magdalene, and she fell down in worship, hugging and kissing His feet. Then Jesus gave her an assignment. “Go and tell the disciples I’m alive!”

If Jesus seems to be missing or lost–not present in our life, this scripture is evidence that He is right beside us, especially if we’re looking! Perhaps if we are worried or frantic we can’t recognize His voice.

 I want to suggest that if you can’t feel Him or hear Him, get on your knees (I believe that was where Mary Magdalene was) claim His resurrection and the promise of His Holy Spirit, and begin worshiping Him. Bow down and picture yourself hugging and kissing His feet. Tell Him how much you love Him. Then stop and listen.

Remember, sometimes we can’t hear Him because we’re so busy petitioning our requests. Prayer is not a monologue. It’s meant to be a dialogue.

He’s here my friends. He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us. May we get still enough to believe, ears opened to His voice, and hearts desperate to find Him.

How does the resurrected presence of Jesus manifest itself in your life? When have you felt His presence?

Your testimonies will encourage us!

Much love,
andy

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