6th August 2021
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14,
Psalms 97, 2
BEYOND SUFFERING THERE’S GOD’S PRESENCE
There is no doubt that we are living in a very challenging time when the Corona Pandemic has brought with it myriads of social, economic, psychological and health problems.
During times like this we need more than ever to remember that we are not alone in our suffering; “For you indeed are the Lord most high above all the earth, exalted far above all god.” Psalms 97:9
Today’s Feast of Transfiguration takes us to mount Tabor, where Peter, James and John saw that there was more to Jesus than met the eye; “..and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white” Mark 9:2-3.
During the transfiguration they got a glimpse of the future glory of the resurrection of Jesus. That beyond the cross, there is resurrection.
Like them, we too get glimpses of the presence of God in our lives.
- We get glimpses of God in the love we receive from other people.
- We get glimpses of God when badly needed help suddenly comes to us from out of nowhere.
- We get glimpses of God when we look back over our lives and what we couldn’t understand in the past makes sense now.
- We see glimpses of God when we see someone making a sacrifice to help somebody else.
- We see glimpses of God when a passage from the Bible or a homily strikes a chord in our hearts.
- We get a glimpse of God when we spend time in prayer and experience the loving presence of God in our lives.
When Jesus and the disciples came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone, about his transfiguration until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead; “..he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead.” Mark 9:9
- Of course they did not know what he meant.
- Unknown to them the glory of the transfigured Jesus was preparing them to accept the scandal of the cross.
- They would understand this only afterwards when looking back.
- The good times take us through the bad times.
So when our cross is heavy or when we are tempted to despair about the meaning of life;
- Let us look beyond the pain of the present moment and remember those times when we got glimpses of God, those times when God sent us his consolations.
- Let us look beyond the pain of life and see the presence of God in our world, and the offer of life that God wants to make to each of us.
- Let us look beyond the illusion of happiness that this life offers to the real happiness that God offers us.
- Let us look beyond this world to eternal life with God; “But our citizenship is in heaven and from it we await our saviour, the Lord Jesus” Phi. 3:20
On the mountain Peter, James and John looked beyond the appearance of Jesus and saw his future risen glory. Let us look beyond, (our suffering) and see that God is really with us. God has not left us on our own, God is with us; “I believe I shall see the Lord’s goodness in the Land of the living, wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” Psalm 27.
- Don’t seek to get answers as to why you are suffering. All you need to know is that, God is in control.
- No matter how bad life gets, God’s love and His grace are enough. God gives us His presence, His word, and His people to help us in our trials. And that’s enough!
- When everything is stripped away from our lives, all we have is God. And God is enough!