WHAT PRECEDED THE PRONOUNCEMENT
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29
Thirty years transpired between Jesus’ birth and John’s pronouncement of who Jesus really was. Thirty years prepared the Son of God for three years of ministry. Thirty years veiled the Son of God. People saw Him as a son of Nazareth. He was one child amidst other children of Joseph of Mary. He was one student amongst other students in the temple. He was one adolescent amongst other teenagers. Yet, monotony, where one insignificant day led to the next, was how Jesus’ was being groomed to learn obedience and faith. The lessons of those three decades provided the foundation for the way He would handle His ministry and the walk to Calvary.
- How could he handle the Pharisees so skillfully? As a child, he watched those with spiritual power. He grew in discernment regarding wolves and sheep; performance and authenticity.
- How could he forgive someone like Judas? As an adolescent, he felt the scorn of other young men as he refused to defy authority, as he turned down invitations to sow his wild oats, as He embraced the underdogs, the ones who didn’t fit with the crowd.
- How could Jesus restrain himself on the day people wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery and, instead, quietly write in the sand? As a boy, as a teen, and as an adult, He learned restraint by veiling His authority and waiting for God to exalt Him.
What precedes greatness are many days of preparation. There are practice runs, many of them, but when I am living in the monotony of endless days of testing, the kind where it’s difficult to put one foot in front of the other, I don’t recognize them as such. Not knowing what lies ahead, I believe that I am destined for nothing more than just marking time without a purpose.
“Wake up!” God reminded me tonight. Don’t waste these days. Moses had his wilderness. David had his many years between anointing and crowning. In between, each was tried and probably felt, at times, that the days were useless. Yet, each of those days presented opportunities for faith, for prayer, for reflection, for study, for integrity, for serving without the fanfare of recognition.
In light of them and their stories, I can’t afford not to make each day count. I won’t get lost in the cobwebs of my present story. I will learn from my spiritual ancestors and realize that the threads of their own storylines are duplicated in my own tapestry. There is no such thing as an insignificant day. Spirit-filled decisions in the midst of what appears to be mundane shape my future.
Complaining, feeling bored, taking revenge, battling hopelessness; these are all a failure to see each day as an opportunity for faith. Forgive me. Give me grace for these many days of testing – all in a row. Amen