The movement in her belly was so sudden, so startling, she wasn’t sure what was happening. All she knew was her unborn son was turning somersaults in her womb with the sound of a greeting at the door.
“...the baby leaped in my womb.” Luke 1:39
John, the unborn Baptist, was practicing gymnastics in Elizabeth’s belly. Wondering somewhat anxiously at his exhibitions, she rounded the corner to find her distant cousin, the mother of her Lord, standing in the doorway.
I imagine one emotion filled her mind in this moment- HOPE!
I know the more common phrase is “leap for joy”- not to say there wasn’t ecstatic joy among these women blessed with this secret too precious for the masses- but, the Israelites had been waiting for Jesus in uncertainty for millennia, and here He was, finally, fresh on the scene, albeit not quite in the flesh… yet.
John, even in his unformed body, was supernaturally informed of his cousin’s proximity.
There was an unprecedented amount of the miraculous taking place during these few short months.
Jesus’ arrival on the scene in history, and His entire 33-year presence in the world, was infectious in a far more grandiose way than any pandemic, crisis, or latest viral video.
Jesus cannot go unnoticed or unfelt, even in the epicenter of economic crisis, social unrest, or personal suffering.
But how can we sense His presence in the midst of social or personal uncertainty?
We draw near, becoming well-tuned to His presence.
When Jesus walked the dusty roads of Galilee or Samaria or Jerusalem, His touch manifested wholeness, restoration, and healing.
He brought blind eyes into the light and deaf ears into birdsong and laughter. His words inspired hope and joy and raised the dead to life. His gaze penetrated the depths of a soul, casting light into the darkest corners of its hidden, often unknown depravity.
He had a powerful and eternal effect on people’s bodies, minds and souls. But, people back then had to hear Him, see Him, touch Him, ask Him, to experience these effects.
Today, we have His Spirit with us! Yet, if we do not spend time in His presence, there can be no effect, change or life-giving hope, joy, peace or purpose.
Severing soul from Savior leads to spiritual emaciation.
I’ve learned this leaves me more vulnerable to the soul-deadening influences of the culture and the fear and hopelessness permeating society.
How can we tune our hearts to sense His presence with us today with uncertainty swirling all around us?
I have found a few quiet moments to savor His Words, whisper a prayer, walk in His Creation and inhale the fragrance of His love—a bird singing, the rustling of leaves, the endless blue sky, fills my scraggly soul sublimely.
I’m far from perfect, but He is, and this magnifies my most meager efforts.
Whatever does it for you, attune your mind and heart to sense Him, and you, like John in the womb, and every life He touched, will be filled with the infectious hope of His presence!