March is such a fickle month. One minute it’s warm with glorious sunshine and budding flowers and the next minute we’re back to snow. One day looks so great, but the next, it’s obvious winter just won’t let go. Spring-like weather in early March is just a tease and here in northeast Ohio, most of us know by now not to get too excited. We still have weeks to go before warm, sun-shiny days erase winter from our memory.
Just as looking at one day’s weather may lead us to think something completely opposite, so too, can people or situations. What we may see as loving, generous or bountiful, could be in reality, something entirely different.
Do you sometimes perceive situations and people contrary to what is visible? Maybe there’s a gnawing in your spirit something’s not quite right, but you can’t explain why. When you begin to voice your objections, you quiet yourself, feeling much too critical, because the words, “He who is without sin…let him first cast a stone...” flash through your mind.
I can relate and I share Paul’s feelings about being the chief of sinners. However, I’m learning sensitivity about a person or a situation is a component of the spiritual gift of discernment – judging or distinguishing between the Spirit of God and the spirit of the enemy.
Sometimes discernment is a disturbing gift. Nevertheless, on a much grander scale, this is how the Lord sees everything. God looks on the heart and clearly sees every motive. God sees the schemer, the foolish and miserly person, for who they are – people who give to get – even when their gifts and words charm us.
However, there is coming a day when this will not be the case. “The foolish person will no longer be called generous, nor the miser said to be bountiful…also…the schemes of the schemer...[who] devises wicked plans to destroy the poor with lying words…” will be exposed. “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.”
It is about this time says Isaiah, “Behold, a king will reign in righteousness…A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.”
This is Jesus – He is the King who, almost 2000 years ago, humbly rode into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey. On that day, known to us as Palm Sunday, some recognized Him as King shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” However, less than a week later, they cried, “Crucify Him!”
Someday, Jesus will physically reign in righteousness from Jerusalem, but now He reigns spiritually in the hearts of men who have accepted His gift of salvation. To us, He is our hiding place when the bitter wind of trouble whips our face. He is our cover when life’s violence pelts rain and snow. He is our river of water when pain, in every sense of the word, parches our soul. He is the Great Rock who casts a cooling shadow over the weary and desperate. To those who fear His name, He is our Sun of Righteousness, glorious, warm and loving, with healing in His wings. Hosanna or O save us, Son of David! Hail to the King of Kings!
(For further study: John 8:7; Isaiah 32:5-7; Luke 12:2; Isaiah 32:1-2; Mark 11:9; Mark 15:13-14; Rom. 6:23; Ps. 32:7; I Cor. 10:1-4; Matt. 11:28-30; Malachi 4:2, Rev. 19:11-16)