July 30, 2013Thoughts from Mark
Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:26-27)
The Lord continually reminds me that He is not always safe, but He is always good.
John’s words above are one of those reminders. You see, the disciples didn’t want anyone coming in the room. The doors were shut. The walls and roof, solid and secure. All the disciples safely inside as they pondered the death and possible resurrection of their Lord.
The fact that this is the second time Jesus invades their protected space speaks of His true nature.
Let me wax romantic for a moment. A woman will tell you that any man worth his salt must be willing to journey to places in her soul she has told him he cannot go. These walled up places in her heart are not off limits, even without permission, to one who knows how to enter and carry himself there.
We don’t think this way enough about ourselves. We, male and female, sons and daughters, are the bride of Christ. He, our bridegroom, knows better than anyone else how to enter our secret places. His pursuit, relentless–yet kind. His presence, strong–yet gentle.
His presence in these deep recesses of our heart makes us identify with Isaiah the prophet and our souls cries “I am undone!”. Our walls penetrated, our defenses futile, we realize the King of Glory is standing in the midst of our mess and our pain. You will never feel more vulnerable, more naked. More unsafe.
And, you will never feel so good.
It is in this moment we realize He is not offended, ashamed or put off by the contents or condition of our locked closet. In fact, He loves it. Why? Because it is part of us. And oh how He loves us.
As we struggle in our anxiousness of the person of the Lord in our stronghold, He speaks – “Peace be with you”. He immediately wants to assure us that His presence here is not the realization of our failure. Instead, His peace beckons the beginning of our healing.
We will never feel more broken than when Jesus is in the midst of our deepest and most protected wounds. But there is no better place for the lover of our soul to be. When the Light enters our darkened corners, He reveals how these areas have affected so many others.
The more time He spends inside, the less strong our walls become. As His healing flow brings life, we scarcely realize that the walls gently evaporate like the morning mist with the warming sun.
Less walls and less locked doors means more space. More space for Him. More space for others. More space to love and allow people in.
Better than any missions campaign, this is heaven’s favorite expansion project. This is truly how the kingdom advances – in the hearts of people.
He’s coming in whether you like it or not. Remember, He is gentle, loving and kind.