Friday, March 21, 2008

Where is He?

I personally love that women were the first to discover that Jesus was not in the tomb. But can you imagine? You are going to honor the dead and He stands you up? Of course they were freaked out and then truly became frightened when an angel told them,
“He is not here. He is risen!”

That’s the message of Easter. He is risen. He is risen indeed!

But where is He exactly? Where is “risen?”

Without making this a Bible lesson, because I am not a Bible teacher and I know I would get something wrong, I would like to tell you the bottom line answer of that question as far as I am concerned.

Where is He?

He is risen. He is with me.

If you invite Him, He’ll be with you, too.

See, Easter is victory and power, but after the resurrection there is LIFE! He lives with me. All the time. Every day. No matter what.

I have had some dark days in my forty-five years, but one of the darkest was right after my mom died. I was driving too fast down an old highway in the middle of West Texas desert and brush. As I gripped the wheel, I screamed and sobbed. It is a God thing that I did not have a wreck. Just a couple of years earlier I’d been living in California in a house with three girls. We’d prayed for the spirit of “dating” to be over that house and then invited four guys at a time over for home cooked meals. Somewhere in all the fun, my three roomies met men and began dating…just about the time I went home to be with my dying mom. During my two years in Texas I flew to California three times, for three weddings. Meanwhile, I buried my mother. I was furious at God and filled with agony and grief and deep loneliness.

Where was Jesus? In the front seat with me, stroking my hair and filling me with supernatural strength and hope. And He was making sure I didn’t kill myself.

On my best days, the ones where John and Noah and I just hang out and laugh – Jesus is right there giving us joy and making our family a foursome. Five, if you include Scooby.

In those moments when I blow it and do things that are absolutely selfish and mean and wrong, Jesus doesn’t leave. He is right with me, loving on me and extending His arms out to me.

It’s not like I am some saint that goes around in silent prayer all the time, although I think that would be really cool to tell you the truth.

I forget Him. I forget that He is there and I ignore the presence of God. This is when the God of the universe, the Lamb of God who gave Himself up for me does a little nudging. Sometimes He catches me by reminding me of His glory just by showing me the sky. I have never, ever seen a sky so breathtaking as the one here in Denver. God is an artist of the heavens up here in the mountains.

Sometimes, He gets my attention by some situation making me tense or fearful and my immediate reaction is HELP. “I’m right here,” comes the quick answer.

But lately when I forget about the One who is with me always, even to the ends of the earth, my friend and Saviour and Lord reminds me of His presence by simply blessing me. It’s new and different and scary to live in a season of blessing. I’m the type of girl who looks for the other shoe to drop. And some old high heel stiletto (no, I don’t wear stilettos – I wish I could, I think) will drop down sometime so that I can increase my faith. But right now, I am blessed beyond measure. My cup truly runneth over. And every time that occurs to me, I hear Jesus whisper in my mind, “I am right here.”

I encourage you to have a wonderful Easter and celebrate the power and the sacrifice that it all symbolizes. And I also want to tell you that life beyond Easter is full and abundant.

Where is He? He is Risen. He is right here!


Ralph said...

Being stood up by Jesus, thats an interesting concept. What's great is we no longer have to worry about that.

I've only been reading your blog for a short time now and I'll have to agree with you that you are not a Bible teacher. You do far more than teach, you minister and that is what we all need to reach out and do for those inside and out outside the family of God.

Be Blessed

Kay said...

You are a wonderful writer. You say things in such fresh and interesting ways! Thank you! I was blessed by this.

Robbie Iobst said...

Ralph, THANK YOU! You blessed me.

Kay, THANK YOU! I am blessed by Your words so much!

Thank you guys for encouraging me and have a fabulous Easter

tonya said...

I love your stories, Robbie. They comfort my soul like my favorite quilt I wrap myself in when I am reading. Your stories minister more than you know.
You are such a blessing!

Loretta said...

To remember that Jesus is the center of our lives is so comforting, isn't it?

Thanks for reminding me that Jesus is always there.

Jan Parrish said...

He is risen indeed. Hope you had a blessed Easter.

ChicagoGirl said...

You won the prize.