Daily Post: Illusion
After turning on the coffee pot, reading the morning news, seeing whose on top of the leaderboard for the golf tournament, and checking my email, now I’m almost ready to write something. I’m listening to the rain falling outside. I’m mesmerized by the tiny little insect that inhabits the space around my desk, flitting here and there, distracting me from the task at hand. At times my pulse slows to such a point that it seems all of this is just an illusion. Writing is at times more like trying to find the face of the man hidden in the coffee beans above. In moments like these, I’m just like this man, lost in the beans, where everything looks the same. Do you see him? He is right there in plain sight. It took me awhile too. Don’t be concerned if you don’t see it right away.
Some say life is just an elusive illusion. They say life resembles the work of those famous artists who draw mind-bending art I’m such a sucker for. 3d eye magic pictures drive me crazy, then suddenly I see the image; as my mind relaxes and focuses on what’s hidden in the depth of the design. Then my eyes twitch, and it’s gone again, just like life. I blinked, and somehow went from 20 to 63 years old. I know I slept, ate, thought, worshiped, read, engaged in friendships, played golf, raised kids, and enjoyed it all. But the elusive nature of it as a whole makes me wonder sometimes if I was really there.
Spiritually, life can be like this as well. It doesn’t really take long when reading the gospels and the story of Jesus’ life to discover much of his teaching was in parables. A parable is a verbal tool, used to paint an imagine that some will see and others will not. Perhaps one of the most famous parables Jesus told was the one about “the sower and the seeds.” In Matthew 13, the tax collector describes the crowds following Jesus as so large that He had to get into a boat on the beach, push out away from the throng of people, and sit down to teach them. The parable/illusion He taught them was simple.
Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear
Sometimes we ask the right questions, other times we don’t. When the disciples came to Jesus they didn’t ask, “What does this mean?” Instead they asked, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” What’s the point, Jesus? His answer? “I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” [13:13]
That actually sounds like a parable in itself to me. Does it to you? He was actually quoting the prophecy of Isaiah from the Old Testament. God was saying through Isaiah, hundreds of years before Jesus was born, that when the Messiah came, many in Israel and around the world would not see Him as Messiah, not hear Messiah’s words, instead they would reject Him outright. Jesus went on to say the disciples were truly blessed because they could “see” and “hear” the truth of who Jesus was, is, and will always be… Messiah.
The real challenge in the illusion (parable), is to see the truth of what it holds. The salvation of God, gained through trusting in Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, brings with it limited sight and understanding of spiritual matters. Through the on-going redemptive work of the Holy Spirit, our spiritual vision becomes more acute. We are able then to gain more understanding of God’s will for our lives. Looking back on it, you can’t unsee the point at which your eyes were opened and you truly saw Jesus as Messiah. However, just like in the 3d art images, or the man in the beans (above), sometimes the spiritual truth is like a fleeting moment in time, here one minute, gone in the next heartbeat. That’s what makes the next verse so outstanding!
Paul told the church in Corinth: [1 Corinthians 2:9]
But just as it has been written: “Things which eye has not see, and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
We will not ever know the fullness of what is in store for people of faith. Don’t even think, not for one second, or ever let someone convince you, that this life is all there is. It is but an illusion, a glimpse at best. What God has in store for those who love Him, is beyond our comprehension, or imagination.
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