Where do you look for and find kings and princes? On thrones, right? On display for all to see. There was a news story that I read yesterday that one of the queen’s dogs had died. And the fact that the dog belonged to the Queen of England made the story newsworthy. But that is not how our Lord and Savior, the King of the World appeared. He was born in a smelly stable, among the animals, and lay in a manger, a feeding trough, to sleep. Jesus was King, but He was found in an unexpected place.
In another story in the Bible, the disciples start rowing across the Sea of Galilee and Jesus tells them that He is staying behind to pray. They just go about doing what he told them to do, i.e. go to the other side. Suddenly, they see Him walking across the water to the boat. On top of the water! Unexpected place for Him to be, right? The disciples seem to be awestruck, exactly as I would have been. This is the story in which Peter steps out of the boat and also walks on water, as long as he keeps his eyes on Jesus. He begins to sink once he looks at how large the waves are. There’s a good lesson for us there; we absolutely have to keep our eyes on Jesus when the waves of life are overwhelming us. But the unexpectedness of Jesus’s appearing on the water is also a lesson for us.
You see, Jesus appears in the most unexpected places and situations in our lives. Honestly, He is always there for us, but there are some times in my life that I believe that I can see Him and reach out and talk to Him. One such time was when my daughter lost her beloved baby in utero. Tessa Serenity had spent six and a half months growing inside her mom and being cherished. Then, in an instant, with one ultrasound, the promise of a new baby was ended. As my husband and I rushed to drive the nine hours to comfort our daughter and her family, I felt the presence of Jesus closely. I myself was grieving, but I had what I believe was a supernatural ability to walk and talk with the grieving children and to just be there for their mom and dad. I’m looking forward to meeting Tessa in heaven one day, but meanwhile, during a situation in my life that was totally unexpected, Jesus stepped in and reminded me that He was there with each child and with my grieving, inconsolable daughter. He spoke to my heart and gently reminded me that He had sent a Comforter to be with my family and the Holy Spirit’s presence got us through that really hard time.
When my father was dying in a VA hospital in Florida, I had just retired and I wanted to jump into the car with my husband and head there as quickly as I could. But, do you remember the boat that Jesus walked towards on the waves? How many disciples got out of the boat? One. Just one. Again, the Lord spoke to my heart and calmed me, telling me that my brothers were with my dad and that was how it should be. They had been the ones to spend the most time with him during his life, even working with him at times, and so they should be the ones to be by his side as he passed from this life to the next. My brother James had to cross the bridge of forgiveness to be with my father, and I consider it a major miracle that James talked to daddy about salvation and had the great privilege of leading him to the Lord and of being with him when he drew his last breath. Who was with them? Jesus was. From the beginning, when they walked across the crashing waves into the hospice room, Jesus was with my brothers. But He was also with me, holding me in His arms and comforting me in exactly the way I needed. You see, I was in PA at the time, with my daughter and her family again. The sight of the grandchildren reminded me that generations continue and daddy was gone to be with Tessa. He had never met any of my grandchildren, but I knew that he would recognize Tessa and that both of them were loving on each other. Daddy always loved babies, so I could picture him cuddling little Tessa and holding her close to his heart. One thing I remember from my childhood is my my father holding me gently and encouraging me to breathe through my asthma attacks. Anyway, Jesus was always there, just when and where we needed Him. Daddy’s death was not unexpected, but His acceptance of Jesus as His Savior was. Jesus was there for him, for my brothers and for me.
I could go on and on about all of the places and situations in which Jesus suddenly showed up. But instead, I want you to think of how Jesus has appeared and given you just what you needed when you needed it. Blessings, my friends, for a grateful and expectant heart. For it is in keeping our eyes on Jesus and our hope in Him that we know how much we need Him. Yes, He shows up unexpectedly, just like we know He will because He loves us. Unexpected? Maybe. But always welcome and always a big part of the life of believers.