It’s Going to be a Bright Sun-Shiny Day
Fishing on a foggy morning on Taunton River, Sullivan, Maine
Just as pockets of morning mist and heavy fog frequently limit vision and blur coastal Maine, a need for corrective lenses or cataract surgery may alter or distort our perception of the world we inhabit. That may have been one reason that Christ’s disciples did not always recognize him despite the fact that they had lived large chunks of life with him. They held intimate and deep conversations as they shared meals and walked the shores and dusty roads of Galilee. They knew his voice from endless teaching encounters and had witnessed powerful, amazing, countless miracles. But on occasion, they didn’t immediately recognize him!. (John 20:11-18 ), (Luke 24:13-21 ), ( John 21:1-13 ).
However, physical limitations were not the only reasons clouding their vision. Clearing the haze of misperception and misunderstanding always takes time. The disciples had to evaluate their way through layers of meaningful religious history, traditions, concepts, and assumptions. Three years of mentoring, a crucifixion, a resurrection, an ascension, and Pentecost transpired before Christ’s disciples began to fully comprehend Christ’s teachings, his divine nature, and God’s Kingdom purposes and how eternally crucial he and his message are to the whole world -not just the Jewish nation.
The Apostle Paul admittedly was right when he said, “Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror.” Our lives are wrapped in mysteries and clouded with uncertainties, unsolvable puzzles, and pesky questions which have haunted every human generation. So, we ponder and speculate and attach our fragile life philosophies to fuzzy ideas and theories and tend to believe what we accept to be rational or convenient because it fits the lifestyle we desire. We hope to subdue our restless search for meaning.
In the early ‘70’s, the popular song “I Can See Clearly Now” promised that despite hindrances the way ahead would eventually become clear. “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone/I can see all obstacles in my way/Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind/It’s gonna be a bright, bright /Sun-shiny day..”
The Apostle Paul did give assurance that one day “…we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that (we) know now is partial and incomplete, but then (we) will know everything completely, just as God now knows (us) completely.” (1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT2) If that is correct, the implication is that there is a reality beyond our full comprehension and this physical world. No amount of cogitating, investigating, theorizing, or philosophizing can fully appreciate that reality in the present. Compounding that problem is a reluctance to add divine revelation, the miraculous, and God’s providence into the reality equation. So, skepticism and disbelief diminish our view of God and Scripture and even allow us to redact Jesus and the Gospel from our narratives. However, it is important to remember that we all live by faith in something or someone. We develop our life views from personal and historical experiences and through the influence of others.
We can still hear Jesus teach through the personal accounts of John, Peter, Matthew and James, who observed Jesus perform miracles, suffer unjust crucifixion, live in a post resurrection state, and physically ascend into heaven. Their belief endured through deprivation, isolation, persecution, and even to the point of death. What they knew to be truth included far more than what their physical senses revealed to them. The Apostle Paul spoke of that kind of Christian confidence: “…we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
So, is it possible that there is a grand logic, a truly magnificent meaning to lives, a reality that exceeds human understanding but has been revealed in the purposes and life of a crucified Rabbi who rose from the dead over 2000 years ago? Is it possible that perceiving life through the lens of faith in Jesus will one day result in “a bright, bright /Sun-shiny day…” of clarity?
That is worth more than a second thought!