“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” John 20:19-20
Sorrow, confusion, fear had all gripped the disciples since Jesus’s death, and into this muddle of hard emotion walked their Savior of peace. When they saw Him, they were glad. Focusing on the horrors of their friend’s crucifixion and being marked as His followers had left them shaky, but once the Prince of Peace entered their stew, all was well. Gladness comes when we gaze at Jesus.
Dwelling on what we do not understand, on our perceived losses that come with change, on what-ifs and supposing that may never come to pass, on the uncertainty that arises when we cannot control a situation or future plans, keeps us in a place of fretting, hand-wringing, unease. But when we lift our eyes to the One Who rules the wind and waves and speaks into our whirlwind, with resolve to trust the Trustworthy, we can be glad. (Job 38:1-11)
Recently a loved one called to tell me how a situation had turned for the worse, but with tears through a smile I could hear, she said, “But there is so much joy, because I prayed, and this is a clear answer.” In the midst of disappointment, she had looked for Jesus, and saw Him. When the sea became rough for the disciples on a night crossing, they nearly choked in their efforts against the strong blow until Jesus appeared, and “they were glad to take Him in.” I recall countless times when I have wrestled in specific prayer, taking captive thoughts when they strayed from Him, and was on tiptoe, bursting to rejoice when He answered. Looking for Jesus builds expectation in the unfolding of His good working in our lives, adjusts our vision to recognize His activity and new facets of His character and ways, increases our faith. (John 6:16-21; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 10:5)
“O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.” ~Helen Howarth Lemmel
When it seems every path is a detour, look for Jesus. When the valley is shrouded in shadow, look for Jesus. When life is humming along and suddenly takes a tragic turn, look for Jesus. When the adjective for everything in life from discipline to passion to energy is “dry,” look for Jesus. Look, see, and be glad, because He is present and will never fail to accomplish His glorious work. (Isaiah 46:9-10)
Lord, grant me the will and eyes to look at You, and for You, in every circumstance. Make me glad with Your presence in such a way that others see You also.