Text: John 5:1-47, Exodus 20:8-11, Luke 6:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
I’ll never forget the day I sat down to study my Bible and discovered my toddler had beaten me to the pages. Scribble marks adorned two chapters in Luke—big loopy scribbles in permanent blue ink. “Oh, no!” reverberated within. This was my favorite Bible, the one I spent time with daily over a hot cup of coffee. I was learning to do inductive study with this Bible and marking key words with care. I’d cringe if I had to erase a bit of colored pencil, knowing it wouldn’t be clean. But this was more than a smudged word. Two entire pages had been ruined.
I sat my little girl on my lap to explain gently that she couldn’t color in mommy’s Bible. She’d meant no harm, of course, but this was a teachable moment. She simply couldn’t go around taking pen to paper in books around the house.
But in that moment the Lord graciously spoke to my heart. My daughter hadn’t taken a pen to any other books, only this book. She was modeling what she’d seen.
“Sweetie, were you ‘studying’ like Mommy?”
She smiled, nodding her head big.
It became my teachable moment. Instead of focusing on “the rules” or my own angst over the pages, I could see the bigger picture. God had been moving in my little girl’s heart, drawing her to His Word. She wanted to interact with it in the only way she knew how. Lifting my focus helped me to see God at work, which changed everything.
It’s often easy to miss God’s hand at work, just as many did when Jesus walked the earth. I’m astounded when I read of the man Jesus healed by the pool of Bethesda, because of the scene afterward. People had seen this man laying around for thirty-eight years, and suddenly he was walking. Yet, no one said, “Wow! What happened? How were you cured?” No one praised God that he’d been delivered from decades of infirmity. Instead, the healed man is chastised for carrying his pallet on the Sabbath. And the Jewish leaders want to know, not who cured him, but who had the audacity to tell him to pick up his pallet and walk with it (John 5:12).
Jesus, the Son of God, was there among them. A miracle had been done in their midst. Yet, focusing on the rules of the Sabbath, they missed the Lord of the Sabbath.
How often do we do the same? How often are we so focused on one side of a circumstance that we miss God’s purposes altogether?
Jesus is the Author of life. And He brings not only life, but light, grace, and glory into that which seems dead, dark, and overwhelming (Acts 3:15; 2 Corinthians 4:6). We’re told to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) because when our eyes are faith-filled, we see the divine. We see God.
Jesus is always working, in every facet of our lives and the lives of those around us. Let’s pray to keep our eyes fixed on Him, so we can behold every moment.
Kim Cash Tate is the author of several books, including Though I Stumble (2016) and Cling: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God (2017). A former practicing attorney, she has a passion for studying and teaching the Word of God. Kim lives in St. Louis with her husband and their two young adult children.