This week my wife introduced me to a new song. The name of the song is, “There was Jesus”, and it is sung by Zach Williams and Dolly Parton. Perhaps it is just where I am in my life right now. Maybe it is because the world is upside down. It could be I needed yet another reminder that Jesus is everywhere I go. Sometimes we get busy and forget, or our vision gets clouded and we do not see. If you have not heard this song, I would recommend you take a listen. But in the meantime, let me share some of the lyrics with you.
Every time I try to make it on my own...Every time I try to stand, I start to fall. And all those lonely roads that I have traveled on...There was Jesus. When the life I built came crashing to the ground...When the friends I had were nowhere to be found...I couldn't see it then, but I can see it now. There was Jesus.
How many times have we had hopes and dreams dashed? How many of us have made plans only to see them dissolve before us? Who among us has had friends who left when we needed them the most? None of us have had our whole life work out the way we have planned. Sometimes the changes were better than we could have imagined. Other times it was much worse. But amid all of it, Jesus was there. We cannot always see Him until later, when we look backwards and see His handprints all over everything. We are not the only ones this happens to.
On a Sunday morning just outside Jerusalem a woman stood crying by a tomb. Mary had watched the horrible events of the previous Friday morning...Jesus being marched down the via Delarosa, people jeering and spitting at Him. She watched as they drove the nails into his hands and feet. She was still there when He took His last breath. From a distance she saw Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea gently take Jesus down from the cross and bury Him. Now that the sabbath is over she has come to finish the burial ritual there was not time for on Friday. But someone has rolled the stone away from the front of the tomb and Jesus is gone. Just one more injustice, one more slap in the face. Jesus had helped her turn her life around and now He is gone. If He was there, He could fix all this. She is crying, and a man she presumes is the gardener asks who she is looking for. Just tell me where He is, and I will find Him she responds and then...He calls her name. There was Jesus!
It probably won't be that dramatic for us, but you never know. Jesus shows up when we don't expect it, in places we are surprised to find Him and sometimes in people we would never in a million years suspect. He is like that. The disciples are hiding in the same upper room they had celebrated the Passover in. They are afraid. If they could do this to Jesus, it could happen to them too. They most likely have not slept much. Perhaps they haven't eaten much either. They are unsure what to do and have no idea what happens next. And then...There was Jesus.
Jesus arrived in the small town of Nain just in time to give the widow her son back. He was there at the well in Samaria to speak to the woman who needed living water desperately...at just the right time. Over and over Jesus was in the minutiae of people's lives. He still is today. We probably won't see Jesus Himself, but we will see evidence of His presence. He is there when we feel that overwhelming peace that only He can give. He is there when it feels like our lives are broken into thousands of pieces, and then someone calls, or visits and we realize we are not alone. He is in the sunrises and sunsets. He has promised He will never leave us or forsake us. And even when it feels like we are all alone...we aren't. He brings strength we did not know we had, words we have never before spoken and peace that could only come from Him.
The refrain from the song says this; In the waiting, in the searching...in the healing, in the hurting...like a blessing buried in the broken pieces...every minute, every moment...where I've been or where I'm going...even when I didn't know it or couldn't see it...There was Jesus.
In His grip
Pastor Matt W