Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lent Day 25: The crest of the wave

Life seems to be experienced in waves. Entire years and decades of Jesus' life go unrecorded. Then  his ministry crests: he chooses disciples and velocity quickens to wash toward his sacrifice on the cross as the Passover lamb.

The ebb of the resurrection, where God pulls back mortality's curtain to showcase His magnificence and power even over death, creates a riptide for the disciples. Jesus spends 40 quiet days with them, expounding on God's mission. He shows them their future as Life-With-God before he withdraws to allow the Holy Spirit to descend.

The Spirit roars into the life of the apostles with godly authority and power. Life and renewal splash throughout the city of Jerusalem and ripples into the world through the pilgrims attending the Pentecostal feast.

Throughout the book of Acts, ebbs and flows in the intensity mark the spread of the gospel:
  • Organization and favor. 
  • Persecution, outward movement, and expansion. 
  • Suffering and missionary proclamation. 
  • Exile and writing to preserve the record of Christ and the early Church.
Have you experienced such seasons of quiet, followed by building energy and a surge of momentum?

Where am I right now? A bucket of "aha"s have been dumped on me since last weekend. The wave is rising and I am being carried into the future. I'm not certain of the shore toward which the power of "forward" is pulling me. And that doesn't matter too much. God only requires my "being in this" completely, attentive and intentional toward the work of His Spirit.

How do we "ride the wave" in seasons of change?
  1. Breathe in the time of calm and stand at ease when there's no direction.
  2. Mull over (and record) lessons learned and insights acquired during the pause between what was and what is becoming.
  3. Still your fears of change. God is in control. Completely. Utterly. Beautifully. He holds your future securely and will not let you go.
  4. Prepare yourself. Embrace whatever comes your way. Pray. Meditate on scripture. Serve at church. Read an insightful book, listen to a speaker, or attend an event. You may unexpectedly run into an acquaintance or eavesdrop on other conversations.
  5. Be willing and obedient. When work appears, when a door opens, when God clears away the clutter of the past to a clear future ... say YES.
  6. Surf the wave. God's current will direct you. Enjoy the ride: fighting the water will smash you, suck you under, and make you feel like you're drowning.
  7. Enjoy the view as you land on the new shore. Wherever God takes you, He has planned this in advance. What is the wonder of this next job, this new ministry, or this fresh relationship?
What's your favorite wave to date? Were you surprised where the current took you?

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