Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 28, 2013

the Ever-Present Constant

So here is how my life has been going recently…

  • God moved in a miraculous way answering a prayer of my heart for an opportunity to serve.
  • We arrived at the one year anniversary of the tragic loss of a new baby cousin at birth.
  • I had an outstanding annual review at work in the face of a very difficult year.
  • My oldest son played the smartest baseball game I have ever witnessed.
  • We celebrated the birth of a new baby cousin.
  • I attended a funeral of a man I didn’t know on Good Friday and responded to the leading of the Spirit to speak a few words to a crowd of people, most of whom I didn’t know.
  • My oldest son experienced a major embarrassment in the middle of a baseball game and met it with monumental courage.
  • We received news that our cousins, who lost their baby just a year ago, are expecting a new baby boy or girl in the fall.
  • Within the span of a few days, two dear friends received a diagnosis of cancer.
  • Another round of personnel reductions was announced at work, and there was certainty it would directly affect people in the group I work for.
  • I finished reading an inspiring biography of an author I love.
  • A few days before I finished the biography, I learned that author had recently died.

This morning I opened my iPad, launched the Bible app and was met by the following verse of the day…

Hebrews 13:8 (ESV, NLT, HCSB, NIV, CEB, NASB)
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

When I read those words, I let out a long exhale, and it was as if every one of those bullets above (and more) exited from my body on the current of that breath.  It was the “casting” in I Peter 5:7 (Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.).  It was the very real experience of biblical truth that in the midst of a crowded and tumultuous life, Jesus, and all that He is, remains the singular constant.

constant-graph

The bright, shiny, blinking lights of our circumstances so often cause us to take our eyes off Him and focus on them.  We see Jesus as a flat line above our circumstances, and we perceive closeness or distance as our life spikes moment by moment towards pain or joy.

As I sat a while longer with verse 8, I began to see the chart differently.  The flat line representing Jesus grew increasingly thicker, to the point where it encompassed the spikes.  I believe the truth of that specific verse declares that even in our most intense moments of pain or joy, we never leave that line.  There is no varying closeness or distance as our circumstances spike.  He is ever-present and unchanging, and our circumstances never extend beyond Him.

I don’t mean to reduce the present pain or joy you find yourself in today.  I am simply responding to a truth He reminded me of this morning, and I hope it encourages you.  I pray you experience an exhale common to mine as you read the verse, and you take heart that He is ever-present and unchanging in your bulleted list of how life has been going recently.

You may have noticed the multiple translations that were listed after the chapter and verse reference above.  In studying or responding to scripture, I often seek multiple translations.  As I did that this morning, with the exception of commas and an “and” here or there, multiple translations all spoke the same words.  The same verse … the same words … the same Jesus … yesterday, today, and forever.

There is one more thing I feel is worth noting about this significant truth and what it means in, and for, our lives.  I found it in the closing sentence of verse 7 in The Message, and it reads as a powerful preface to verse 8…

There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change — yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.

Not only is Jesus an ever-present constant in the midst of our circumstances, There should be a consistency that runs through us all in the midst of those circumstances as well.

Exhale, then throw your arms around the Ever-Present Constant as your one and only help in living consistently in the sight of others through the spikes of your circumstances.  You have the opportunity to show Jesus to those around you as you navigate the bulleted list of your everyday.  Draw near and hold tight to the Ever-Present Constant.

yeam2012


Responses

  1. Excellent , excellent , excellent !!
    Thanks for sharing …..Tom
    Sincerely
    Brad

  2. Mark – again I have to tell you brother that your words on inspiring. I can totally relate to your graph and my perception of closeness to Christ, because it is my perception that changes and sometimes I need to remember that Jesus never changes and I should base my perception on that.

  3. Encouraging! 🙂 Father, thank You for providing that Ever-Present Constant to us! He knows the “spikes” of life better than any of us. With the cross before Him…..joyful endurance. In sufferings……. fellowship. In anxieties…….peace. In these things we are drawn (provided) to becoming like Him, Your Son, in His death – and Life -, knowing and enjoying You as He does, and paving the way to the question from others, “what is the reason for the hope that you have?” The same hope that one common criminal observed, and then shared in as He hung next to Him.

    Jesus………the same yesterday, today and forever!!

    Thanks for generating some thought!

    Jerry

  4. awesome words…God is good all the time…no matter our circumstances. He is the faithful one!


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