Meeting Jesus face to face – I just did


There are some verses in the bible that really puzzle me. They are not “the Jesus I know” – not the God that I love. And as much as I try and figure it out – He ain’t telling.

Matthew 21: 18-20
Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.

And the same tree zapping …

Mark 11: 12-14, 20-21
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it. In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

It was not the season for figs. And the tree got zapped through no fault of its own. Why?

Well this afternoon He finally chose to show me why. This afternoon Jesus was telling – and it was more beautiful for the waiting, the confusion, the pondering all these years. He explained in the most wonderful way!

But (as He does so often) He used another.

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“The meaning of papercuts” – and a wonderful conversation in the comments box:

Julie:
This past weekend I found myself being particularly clumsy… no kidding – I sliced my hand several times cutting veggies, I sliced my foot on the corner of our stone bathtub, cut my toe on the corner of a door… Sometimes I am so focused on where I am trying to go, that I forget to focus on how I am getting there! And the Way is always His Way…

Me:
WHOA! Julie!! Those aren’t paper cuts!! Those are life shortening oversights!! 🙂
And I have to say you have gone up even more in my “respect” levels: anyone who can accept that amount of bumping and scraping and turn out such lovely loving music, words and pictures in her own observations of her own normal family living … WOW!! 🙂

Julie:
My husband affectionately calls me “Peach”… because I bruise at the drop of a hat and bump into everything. It amazes me that God can use these very clumsy hands to make any coherent musical or written thought!! Lol!! Speaking of paper cuts… we were going out of town this weekend after church, and my husband wanted to stop at a fast food place- one that I hate. I wanted “my way” and I let him know it…we went there anyway, and as we were getting read to leave, I saw an older couple walk in that I hadn’t seen in several years- a couple I was very close to and who used to go to our church. I walked up behind them in line, and put my arms around them and told them how much I loved them and missed them. It was a beautiful moment- and one I would have missed had I not “obeyed” and gone to my least favorite Fast Food place with my hubby. I told the couple how I didn’t want to go there that day, and that seeing them made it all worth while. I thanked my hubby for bringing me there… a little paper cut for me to admit how wrong I was for my complaining… but a BIG BLESSING He gave me in following through. I am thankful for grace!!

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Julie’s words are italicised for one reason – Julie is that fig tree “not in season”.

Because Julie seems not have a “season” or a time or a moment or a revival or anything we “assign and diarise” for God so often. Julie does not have a “switched-on and switched-off” life – those “I am ready to do your work God” times we set aside for Him. Julie just seems to see her Lord and Father “everywhere” (in so much that I miss in my own life). Read her blog. Fall in love with how Julie loves her God, her family, her life. How she makes it all so real. So ordinary. So especially ordinary even I could “do that”.

Today JesusJulie answered the puzzle I have carried for a long time: why zap a tree not even “meant to be fruiting”?

Simply because Julie would have had figs (and peaches) in abundance the morning Jesus walked by. He could have taken His pick that morning – He doesn’t do seasons like we do seasons – he doesn’t impose the “right and wrong time” as we do. Just like Julie doesn’t. Just like we should. Like wot Julie does.

Thank you Julie, I just met Jesus face to face – and You were beautiful ((hugs))

Julie Harris:
I Sing Because I Am Free

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15 thoughts on “Meeting Jesus face to face – I just did

    • Hiya Bill – that moment when the “lights come on”! Years I have struggled with that passage trying to tease the love from it. Never even managed it – knew it had to be in there somewhere – love always is. KAPOW! As I was reading Julie’s words, He was chuckling in the glare of my amazement! In the old days it would have been all “Batman” and pyrotechnics. Today it was simple “awe”!

  1. Sometimes the unfruitful needs to be trimmed in order that it may bear more fruit! I love how God uses little things to bring us clarity.

        • Do you know what is making my brain cells sit up and notice? There seems to be a drawing together of “speakers of a Loving God”. One whose roots remain firmly in the Living Word, one who is the Living Word. But a gentle, universal, grace filled and grace giving Father. A Father of love without conditions. Drawing those who “get” that love without conditions is not a soft option, that living love without conditions is the most rewarding, frustrating, wonderful, selfless and self-full journey. A life of action, a life of (whatever name you use) God. That drawing seems to be gathering pace.

          • There’s a remnant of people God has held back for a time such as this. When darkness begins to cover the Earth and gross darkness the people [Isaiah 60] but a light will shine forth. Our God is a mixture of Love and Power, Authority and Friendship. There’s a people who understand we can never understand God but we can learn more, seek more and do more. Love people and serve them. Love God and serve Him. People desperately want love, they’re just looking in the wrong places.

  2. Wow. Paul, I don’t know what to say…(((hugs))) for your kind word and WOW!! you just brought all that stuff full circle!! I LOVE lightbulb moments! Great way to put that scripture into 3D living color!! 2 Timothy 4:2 says to be prepared in season and out of season…How many times are we “out of season”, and then miss a blessing He has waiting for us- or miss being part of a blessing for someone else?! As soon as I saw that couple come in, it was like God’s hand was tapping me on the shoulder saying “See?? This is what I had waiting for you! And you almost missed it…” It happens to me daily- being “out of season”- but I’m trying to hear Him more quickly and to follow Him more readily… even in the smallest things… and to be humble enough to admit, and ask for forgiveness, when I’ve “missed the boat” (which happens a LOT) 🙂 And I am FAR from perfect…Thank you for the way you beautifully knitted all of this together…all for HIM!! 🙂 🙂

    • We are all far from perfect! And that is what makes it so much fun. And that is what makes these connections so beautiful – all bouncing off each other – all accepted for being who we are. He knows a thing or two, this Loving Father!
      Thank you again – this has been quite a day!! 🙂

  3. So nice to come home and get to read this and “see” both of you. I thought I was the only person a bit perplexed by the whole fig tree scripture. Paul, you shed such light on that, I’m really speechless. I’m very guilty of the whole paper cut deal with my own husband and giving in/ not wanting to give in so this really convicted me on more than one point. My thanks to both of you! 🙂

    • Hiya Lilka – and what a lovely comment to read! Thank you!
      (and I thought I was the only not to “get” the fig tree)
      This was another where the jigsaw pieces seemed disconnected and without any “connection” – and then Julie came along and BAM!
      🙂

      Big thanks you for your words! The mean a lot!! ((hugs))

  4. Paul, this meeting is so beautiful – how often do we get bruises and bumps, even feel a withering gaze, and decide then to have an “out of sorts” attitude. Instead, just like each new gray hair, we can attribute them to lessons learned and wisdom gained from the One whose wisdom is pure and love is unconditional.
    Perfect timing for me, as I’ve been dropping things more frequently out of my arthritic hands of late. Perhaps instead of picking up this and that, I need to pick up my Bible more often. 🙂

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