Today as we read a portion of the 8th chapter of the Gospel according to Saint John, we notice that the Jews are having great difficulty recognizing Jesus for Who He is. They expected a Messiah who comes blazing into town on a chariot of fire, causing quite a stir and immediately vindicating them against their enemies.
But Jesus came quietly in the night. He goes about His business on His own schedule, not theirs. He has been in their midst for some time, but their high expectations blind them to the presence of their God who is before their very eyes.
But don't I often run into this very dilemma myself?
I like to get things done. Sometimes I am so busy running around, attempting to perform all the tasks just right, that I fail to take them to the Lord first (and during and after). I fail to ask Him whether this is something He truly wants me to do at this time, to request His help when the going gets tough, and to do it in a spirit of charity, taking time to notice Christ in the people I encounter, for I get tunnel vision to simply accomplish my task, running past or over everyone who gets in my way.
Do I, too, miss Your presence in my life, Lord? Am I too set in my ways to be flexible when you’re asking me to change? Am I too certain of how I think things should play out in my life? Am I too focused on fixing this or that problem that isn’t even mine to fix? Am I too worried about the future that I fail to see the precious details of my daily life?
When we fail to listen, but only want to speak—to just tell Jesus how it is—or don’t take time to see Him, it is then that we, too, fail to recognize His presence in our own lives. We can’t see Him as we have put up a barrier of pride that can only be eradicated by a docile heart.
Never fear. Jesus gives us the key to a docile heart. It is simply: Remain in my word. For then “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Sit quietly in prayer with our Lord today and ask Him whether you are missing moments of His presence in your life. Ask Him to show you where you may be seeking more your heart’s desire than His. Say to Him: “Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. Not my will, but Yours.”
Laurel Muff is a creator and appreciator of beautiful things. She resides with her husband and daughters in Northern California. You can find more about her here.