Years ago, my church choir sang at the opening worship service of a large denominational convention.
Since I was on the staff of another church in our denomination, I looked forward to possibly seeing my fellow employees. The service was held in the massive sanctuary of an old church, and we were seated in the upper seats of the large choir loft. However, when the main seating area was filled, the extra people were directed to sit in the remaining seats of the choir loft down in front of us.
As they filed in, I recognized Randy, who was an active member of the church where I worked. As he came in and looked up, I smiled and waved. At first, he seemed confused at my greeting, but when he recognized me, he smiled, nodded, and took his seat. When the program began, I realized that when he first saw me, he was puzzled because he didn’t expect to see me there. But with recognition came a greeting.
Mary Magdalene probably experienced the same when she saw Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. She had come to the tomb expecting to find Jesus’ body, but when she saw the tomb empty, she was confused. As she pondered her next step, she turned to see a hazy figure nearby who called her name. That’s when she knew it was Jesus.
Often, when I am confused, I suddenly experience God's unexpected presence just when I need Him. In His loving providence, He reaches out so I can reconnect and reestablish—and then move forward to serve Him.
Don’t fear. God always recognizes you.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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Anne Adams is a retired church staffer living in Athens, Texas, where she writes a historical column for the local newspaper. Her book Brittany, Child of Joy, tells about her mentally disabled daughter and was published in 1986 by Broadman. She has taught junior college history and has published in Christian and secular publications for forty years.