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Roadside rest

Roadside rest

It’s an invitation to sit. But to whom?

When I stride past this chair, left out on someone’s lawn on my usual neighborhood walk, I’m sorely tempted to sit in it. It just calls out to me. It takes all my self-control (and self-respect) not to give in. I resist because of the awkwardness of sitting prominently on someone else’s property.

But this empty chair by the road has me thinking. (No surprise, eh?) If it’s a visual reminder of a need to step aside, rest and observe, who’s it for? I can think of three potentials.

For me.

When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. (Ex. 33:22)

In this verse, Moses is the bystander while the Lord passes by. I love this story because of the reminder of our feeble inability to withstand the undiluted power of God’s glory. But, in a way, we have ample opportunities to see the residual of glory that follows behind him as he moves through our lives.

I think, even in the writing of this blog, my awareness of that lingering glow of God’s goodness comes most often when I stop and consider. I can’t be moving all the time.

For him

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.  (Luke 10:17-18)

God is always watching. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded that in that watching, he is attentive, invested, and rejoices with the victories of his children. I have a little symbol I draw sometimes when I’m working to remind myself of that very truth: he sees me and rejoices in what I create.

Imagine if you set up an empty chair in an obvious place in your house or yard to remind yourself that he is attentive to your activities. How would it encourage you? Or challenge you?

For both me and him

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2: 6-7)

This thought amazes me: one day, we will sit with him while he shows us the riches of his grace. I know this would require two chairs, so it is stretching my analogy. I also know this isn’t describing a literal seating, but more of a positional truth – we are co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17).

But what a joy it is to think of two chairs by the road, where we sit with Jesus to watch and discuss what goes on around us.  This, I suppose, is a pretty good description of prayer.

On my walk home, the sun breaks through the clouds – a beautiful reminder that I don’t have to wait for the heavenly realms to witness those riches of grace.

They’re all along the road.

Lord, thank you for your grace. Thank you for your watchfulness and presence. Help us to take the time you offer to sit and experience your love together.

Reader: Would you have sat in the chair? Have you ever done something like that in the past? Tell me about it.

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Bruce Van Patter

As a freelance illustrator, graphic recorder, and author, Bruce is on a lifelong journey to delight in the handiwork of the Creator. And he’s always ready for fellow travelers.

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