It may be that, like the apostle John, you know Jesus Christ intimately. Then one day, Jesus appears and you hardly recognize him. No longer counselor or comrade, he is in his majesty. Instead of walking to triumph, Jesus goes to disaster; instead of bringing peace, he brings a sword. All you can do is fall at his feet as though you were dead.

At times God can’t reveal himself in any way other than in his majesty, and the awfulness of the vision brings you to the delight of despair. There is another kind of despair, one with no horizon, no hope of anything brighter. But when Jesus appears to you in his deity, the despair you feel at your own weakness is tempered by the vision of his overwhelming strength. In this moment, you understand that if you are ever going to be raised up, it must be by the hand of God. God can do nothing for you until you get to the limit of the possible.

“Then he placed his right hand on me and said: ‘Do not be afraid’” (Revelation 1:17). In the midst of the awfulness comes a touch. It isn’t a touch of restraint or correction; it’s the right hand of the everlasting Father. Whenever this hand is laid upon you, it brings instant peace and comfort. You sense that nothing can ever cast you into fear again. “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). The Lord’s tenderness in this moment is indescribably sweet: in the midst of his glory, he comes to an insignificant disciple to say, “Fear not.” Do I know Jesus like this?

Wisdom from Oswald

Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading.  My Utmost for His Highest, March 19, 761 L