Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord (Hosea 6:3).
The birds have been busy at the feeders all winter. Now some new species are showing up. All the different colors and sizes of birds are unique aspects of creation.
One blackcap chickadee had an odd way of feeding, different from all the others. It turned its head sideways to pick up a seed, instead of pecking straight down. Then I noticed it had an abnormally long beak, with the ends splayed out. In spite of the problem, the bird figured out how to overcome its handicap and kept right on eating. Likewise, we tend to continue trying to get what we are desperate for.
The twelve disciples of Jesus followed him over three years. Judas went another direction at the end but the others stayed the course. At the arrest of Jesus, however, they all fled. Only Peter followed at a distance.
Fearful and nearly faithless, they endured seeing the Christ on the cross. His burial at the tomb was finalized with a stone rolled in front of the opening. The finality of death for the one who raised others to life was devastating. They hid behind closed doors, not remembering what Jesus said about rising from the dead the third day. After his resurrection, he appeared to them and said, "Peace be unto you."
For forty days he was with them, alive and powerful. When he ascended out of their sight from the Mount of Olives, they obeyed him by going to Jerusalem to await the promise of the Spirit. The distance they walked to get there was "a Sabbath day's journey." This was not a great distance, less than a mile. It turned out to be well worth the trip.
They continued in prayerful anticipation for several days. Then the promised Spirit came, and they joyfully took his name with an explosion of growth for the believers (see Acts 2:41). No doubt they were glad they followed his direction and believed his word for the promise. That great event is celebrated every year on the Day of Pentecost, which this year is May 23.
The 1968 Olympics in Mexico City had an unusual ending to its marathon. A runner from Tanzania was the last one in, an hour and a half after the winner. His leg bloody and bandaged, he slowly crossed the finish line. When asked why he kept on, he said, "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start a race, they sent me to finish it."
Keep going with your faith in God. Follow on to learn more of the Lord. "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10 a.m. followed by worship at 11. Thursday Bible study and children's church are at 7 p.m.
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