Have you ever felt distant from God? Wes did.
“And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away” (Luke 4:29-30).
Have you ever gotten so riled up about something that it was all you could think about? You kept pushing it back, but it refused to leave the forefront of your thoughts. I have heard people call it “stewing in your juices”. Your throat begins to clog as if not to allow anything else in. Tears well in your eyes. Your face reddens, your fists clench.
If anyone comes up cheery and sweet you want to throw them off a cliff, just as these people of Nazareth wanted to do with Jesus. “Get out of my sight. How dare the rest of the world keep spinning merrily along when I feel so distraught?” If you do, don’t be surprised if Jesus passes through your midst and goes away.
Do you share your hurt, your anger or disgust? Do you try to rally others to your corner? “Come be miserable with me. Let me get you riled up as well.” If you do, don’t be surprised if Jesus passes through your midst and goes away.
What? Jesus go away? No, He is always here. He promised He’d be with us until the end of the age. Yes, but when you take your eyes off of Him and put them back on yourself it will appear as if He has gone away. You have chosen to be stirred up instead of giving Him the situation, the hurt, the anger. He wants to give you peace. He said over and over again in the Gospels not to be anxious but to seek Him, trust Him. When we don’t listen, just like this crowd in Nazareth, He’ll pass in our midst. Why?
Perhaps it is to make us seek Him. My cats only notice movement. If a bird or rabbit or squirrel stays perfectly still, they blend in the background. It is not until they move that my cats’ ears perk up and their vision sharpens. When Jesus moves in our lives, even to step away, He gets our attention. If that doesn’t work, if we still look inward and downward into our own little mess, He will appear to, well, disappear. Like a little toddler playing pick-a-boo, we put our hands over our spiritual eyes then wonder where He went?
These people in Nazareth were so riled up they lost focus. Jesus had tried to tell them something important—that He was there to save their souls—and all they could think about was their petty prejudices. They became so riled up they were blinded by their anger.
Times haven’t changed, have they?
Question: Is Jesus passing by you today? Will you turn to Him?