“Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).” -John 20:11-16 NIV
In the above scripture, Mary was so focused on how she expected Jesus to appear (a dead body), that she did not recognize Him alive and miraculously RISEN from the grave! This was an amazing revelation I heard in a recent podcast by Pastor Scott of Element Church. The parallel is this: how often do we miss Jesus in our lives because we are so focused on how we are expecting Him to show up… or worse yet, where we think He is not showing up?
Many times in life, we are concentrating on the place we are trying to get to, the answer to prayer we are waiting on, or the breakthrough that we are praying for. In these times, we can be so zeroed-in, precise, and laser-tight on target, that we lose our peripheral vision. This is akin to a road-trip, where we are anxiously (or impatiently) awaiting the arrival Exit, and we miss out on the sight-seeing, good company, and fun of the journey along the way. We miss the God opportunities. We miss the God interruptions. We disregard the other miracles He is working in our lives.
God has already promised that He will supply our every need. So stop staring out the window, waiting for the Exit. Enjoy the journey. Be where you are. Take a look around. Enjoy the scenery. Take photos. Capture memories. Look for the gold. Search out the unexpected miracle. Focus on what God IS doing. He has a purpose in the waiting, and you don’t want to miss it, my friend. Surrender the situation to Him. Seek Him, and He will bring the Exit when you’re ready… in His perfect timing.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” -Matthew 6:33 NIV
Pursue the kingdom. God will take care of the rest. This has happened to me in my own life… more than once, unfortunately. Several years ago, I was distraught about a job situation that took me 3,000 miles away from my family and now-husband. I prayed every day, and waited on that miracle that would take me home. I applied for other jobs, transfers, and thought about why God abandoned me… until one day I reached a breakthrough: I realized I needed to forgive God and forgive my employer. I heard Matthew 6:33, and decided to just “be” where I was in life.
I sought God’s Kingdom the only way I knew how at that point. I read the Bible, attempted to memorize scripture, did devotionals, joined a small group, began serving at church and attended every workshop, worship night and function I could get to. I listened to worship music on the way to work, pulled up a “scripture of the day” each morning on my computer, and even wrote encouraging Bible verses on a white board in my cubicle. My husband and I prayed together and did devotionals over the phone every night, despite the three hour time difference. This expedition took me from survival mode to thrive mode. I now look back at that time and am actually grateful for where my job took me. That is where God took me to my knees and reached me. My relationship with the Lord began to grow from that point. My husband also began seeking the Lord more diligently, and his relationship with our Father grew exponentially.
Several months later, our miracle came. The amazing thing was not only all that God had done in our lives… but how by growing closer to Him, it actually brought us closer to each other!
I was grateful when I heard this recent revelation about “missing Jesus” in our every day lives. I was walking through a similar situation, with my eyes fixated on “waiting for my miracle.” In the midst, I had missed all God was doing NOW. I went to my prayer board and realized all of the “prayer requests” I could move over to the “answered prayers” side. Then God lovingly pointed out all of the miraculous things He had done and was doing… that I had overlooked because I was expecting Him to show up in another way. It blew my mind! I became so grateful! My entire perspective shifted when I decided to “be where I am.” I can now see all that God is doing in and around me and it is so incredible!
So I pray the same revelation for you, friend. Be where you are. You will be amazed to see that Jesus has been right beside you this whole time. Don’t miss what He’s doing in your midst. Enjoy the journey!
Here’s to your health!