April 10, 2024

Rhonda Patterson
“So when they met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them, ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’”
Acts 1:6-11

Can you imagine being with the disciples during the forty days following the resurrection? Fresh from despairing that all hope was lost, Jesus is alive! Oh, the questions they must have had! And after all the time spent following Jesus, the unfolding of His plan was still a mystery to them. We can still say that today in many ways. As we look at what is going on in our world and even our own lives, we don’t always understand his ways. Jesus knew the disciples would still have questions. But he gave them clear instruction before his departure, and I believe the men in white were reiterating his point, “Why are you standing around looking up? Jesus will return, now go and do as he instructed you to do!” (my paraphrase) We too, can be distracted from Jesus’ commission to us by events happening around us.

My husband loves working with his hands and loves to create and build. Something I’ve seen him use often through the years is called a chalk box or reel. It’s a small container with a reel of line full of chalk inside. He will run this line across wood or drywall and pop it, leaving a perfect line to follow as he makes his cut. It guides him. Jesus gave us many instructions for living a kingdom-minded life and sent the Holy Spirit to guide us the way a chalk line guides a carpenter. When events around us don’t make sense, Jesus does. As we keep our eyes fixed on him, we’re able to navigate sometimes difficult situations with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit guiding us. He helps us stay the course, even amidst a myriad of questions.