Burlington has a small, ordinary looking restaurant by the park. It’s one of those places that you can drive by for years and never go in but, the parking lot is always full at breakfast.
I went in.
Yep, it’s simple, old and full of people … older people … HA! makes you wonder what I was doing in there, right?
No? My gray streaks let me fit right in?
Sigh. Yep, guess so.
As I waited I was greeted by my friend. In she came, like a rush of sunlight. Bright, happy, warm and engaging.
Her name is Nanette.
She is a believer in Jesus Christ. In fact, she is so full of faith in Him that He uses her to heal people. She will tell you that as she prays and people are healed it’s God’s great and beautiful grace that does the miracle.
You know the song, I can only Imagine? If you listen to Christian music you have heard it at least a million times.
The song asks several questions, one is what would I do if I was walking beside Christ.
I always wondered what I would do. I think I now know.
As Nanette and I were sitting at the booth, surrounded by folks. She and I shared our lives with each other. Our conversations are always full of life and Christ.
This particular time Nanette brought up the concept of imagination and how the Lord uses it to help us imagine things. For example, Paul ends his letter to the Ephesians giving Glory to God
“Now to Him who is able to do infinitely more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us,”
Nanette told me the story in which I was to use my imagination. I did and I was moved to tears.
I had tears in my eyes right there in the restaurant.
She told me to imagine that I was standing in a green field, next, to imagine a tree, then, imagine myself walking to the tree. Next, I was to imagine that under that tree was a bench. Next, I was to sit on the bench.
And here is the part that answers the question to the song I can only imagine.
She said imagine, Jesus comes up and sits by you on the bench.
At this point in my imaginary experience, I saw Jesus come and sit by me on the bench. Joy filled my heart, I was able to finally feel utterly safe. I was able to let go of all the anxiety and guards I have built up around myself for protection. I could release all the fear through tears, sobs into Christ’s arms.
All that in the span of 1 minute.
There I was in the restaurant, experiencing peace in my soul that brought tears to my eyes (not sobbing in the restaurant, that was just part of my imaginary experience)
How do I go from that?
We continued to talk about the goodness of the God we love. We shared more thoughts and ideas.
We finished our time together but I was changed.
I had imagined sitting on a bench with Jesus and today I’m still drawn to that memory.
The truth is, God is with me every minute of every day. I am safe.
Which is hard to say in our scary world of terror, brutality, murder and hatred. I think the Lord reminded me of who I am. I am an eternal being, that imaginary time with Christ was like being outside of time and space.
Like Paul says:
“For our light and temporary affliction is producing for us an eternal glory that far outweighs our troubles.”
That’s eternal thinking.
As I went from the restaurant, my heart was praying, I know He is my hope, my foundation, and my safety.
Here is a Bible verse the Lord has given to each of us …
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Let’s all keep that in the front part of our thinking.
I hope you can get encouragement from this post. His love, His protection, is for each of us. ♥
Norm Wakefield, An Eternal Perspective, clip 1