Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Little More on Vision...

Fridays with Susan...

Further to Belinda's post of yesterday... 

When Jesus took Peter, and James and John up on the mountain where they saw him transfigured with Moses and Elijah, Peter and the others thought this was "IT!"  They wanted to stay there and build three temples,  one for Moses, one for Elijah and one for Jesus.  But instead, Jesus led them down the mountain again and into the valley - the valley of the shadow...

From that glorious vision of "Truth" glorified, they went straight down into the valley.  Not just to "the valley", but they were actually headed to Jerusalem - and to the cross.  On the way, having just seen that glorious vision, Peter and James and John made one mistake after another - from arguing about who was the greatest among them to being unable to set free one who was troubled by demons, to even denying Jesus, once, twice, three times.  And though Jesus had been revealed to them in his glorified form, instead of referring to that vision, he talked to them about his coming suffering and death.

Jesus gave them the vision, but it was only skin deep up there on the mountain... It really meant nothing at all until they had been to the valley where it was worked right into them through the tough things they experienced there.
 
This is deep truth and a journey not for the faint of heart.   To be invited on this journey, Jesus must trust us to be able to endure the difficulties - to learn deeply through the hard lessons - and to come through the other side.  Having been through the valley with him, we will no longer be seeing the glory as a vision, but knowing it and experiencing it as an integral part of who we are - of who we have now become.  It's what Jesus was referring to, I think, in his prayer of John 17 when he said, "I have given them the glory that you have given me..."  This is the process by which he gives us his glory - how it is that his glory is able to shine through these earthen vessels that we are to be seen and felt by those around us.  First he gives us the vision, and then he takes us into the valley where he works it into who we are.  Only then do we really "get it".  Only then can we really share who he is and what he has given to us with others.  Thank God for his comfort, and for his promise:

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.  For thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff (his discipline!), they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord - forever."   Psalm 23

3 comments:

Belinda said...

This was so encouraging Susan. Thanks for reinforcing that the pattern is a good one. I loved this twin post.

Angcat said...

Dear Susan,

You don't know how appropriate this is to wrap up our past two weeks (and three years) with Nicky. Wow!
It has been in those desperate and difficult places that He has revealed Himself to us and where our foundation is being made secure.

I would love to build a house with Him on the mountain and stay there, but it has been through the valley of the shadow of death that we have known Him walking with us.

I could go on and on, so much more to share, but yes and amen will suffice.

God bless you sister

Marilyn said...

I want to yes and amen this as well. And I, too, enjoyed these 'twin' posts. Very encouraging reminder!