1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.
Dear God, it can be so hard to understand what is going on around us at any given time. The stories of two different people come to mind.
The first is a news story I watched this morning about a man who moved to The Sudan with Samaritan’s Purse nine years ago. Now, Samaritan’s Purse has evacuated and he resigned from the organization so that he can stay. He married a local woman and can’t stand the thought of abandoning these people to war while he retreats to the safety of the United States. I admire this man’s convictions, love, and loyalty. I wonder how much of what you are doing in his life he really understands. I’m not saying he isn’t doing your will. I’m sure he is. I’m just saying that life must seem so much bigger than he can handle sometimes.
Then there is a friend who is a missionary overseas. I received a newsletter from him and his wife last night. Frankly, his wife, in the article she wrote, seems depressed. I don’t think she likes the city where they live and I think that other aspects of her life are overwhelming her. Raising her children. Supporting her husband. Missing her family. A lack of ability to use her own gifts. It feels like it is too much. She is trying to make sense of it. In her article, she says that she is seeking you and what you have for her in this time. She doesn’t use these words, but, reading between the lines, she seems to be crying out to you and begging you to get her through this.
Verses 10-13 make me think of all of this because the disciples had a lot of stuff going on around them that they didn’t and couldn’t understand. There is no way they could grasp the scope of what was happening. They didn’t realize that they were part of a plan that would launch your plan for the whole world for thousands of years. They didn’t realize that I would be reading about them thousands of years later. They didn’t realize that there would be churches all over the world named after them. It was just too big for them to understand.
Father, I pray for both of the people I mentioned above. For this man that I do not know, use him to end the war in The Sudan. Love him and his family. Comfort them. Protect them. But please use him. Do not let his sacrifice be in vain. I also pray for my friend and his wife. I am sure that he feels as helpless to help his wife as she feels to help herself. Give them guidance and counsel. Help them to emerge from this in a way that makes them stronger with you and more fulfilled in their lives. Unite them together and protect their marriage. Give them hope.