And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11 ESV)
It has been only a few weeks ago that a dear blogger and her spouse lost a child in an accident. As I read the words of the incident I could only feel for them with my heart, and wonder what they must be going through, and what their thoughts must be. They are believers, but they are still human and I’m sure must ask God these questions… Why? This just shouldn’t have happened; the normal order is for the child to bury their parents; this is surely not what a loving God would want. A parent should never outlive their children.
The disciples must have been feeling this way as the parents above. Jesus was with them; He was taken away from them by being crucified; He returned and spent 40 more days with them; then all of a sudden He was taken from them again. How must they have felt? All of their thoughts about how things should be, or were going to be, were marred again. They must have been terribly confused.
So what did the disciples do? I can see them standing, looking into the sky, trying to make sense of something that they weren’t capable of understanding. And here we are today, over two thousand years later, and we still don’t understand all there is to know about that event, even though we have the New Testament to tell us all about it. So how could they possibly understand it in the middle of their experience?
There are times when I stand still and look into the sky amazed or shocked. I stand amazed at how God works in particular incidents, and often I’m shocked by some tragic event. Then God speaks to me through His Word and says to me, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky?” It’s time to get moving, it’s time to be doing something. So where are we to go, and what are we to do? We have the answer to this in the last thing Jesus told us to do. For the disciples, that was go to Jerusalem and wait there for the Holy Spirit. I can’t answer that question for anyone but myself. When I’m shocked, I can hardly answer it for myself: What was the last thing Jesus told me to do? That is what I must do, and that is what I will do. The name of this book is Acts for a reason. It’s what the apostles, and us who know Jesus, do with this knowledge; The disciples did what Jesus told them to do and their lives and the world was turned upside down.
What about you? Are you still stuck in the middle of tragedy? What was the last thing Jesus told you to do? Are you doing it?
Something to think about on this beautiful day we have been given.
Shalom, until tomorrow, Lord willing,