I Loved You at Your Darkest:
"While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don't be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus." (Matthew 17:5-8)
In the first few verses of Matthew chapter seventeen, Jesus led Peter, James, and John up to a mountain top. It was just the four of them, or so the disciples thought. Whilst they were walking Jesus was "transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light." (Matthew 17:2)
Today, this passage is really speaking to me. I feel like the Lord is using this passage as a reminder that sometimes we must fall "facedown on the ground" in complete awe of His glory and surrender to His mysterious yet miraculous ways. At times it may be necessary for us to be reminded that Jesus is the Lord's beloved Son, and we ought to listen to Him! No matter how unimaginable His plans may sound to our limited human minds.
When the disciples heard what God had spoken to them directly, they fell to the ground and they were terrified. Now before we go any further, I would like to point out that this Greek word for terrified has two meanings which are very closely tied.
First, this word, φοβέομαι (phobeomai), means to become terrified or frightened. Another meaning for the word, however, means to revere, esteem, honour, and worship.
Most all of us have "fallen on our faces" in desperation before God. When the Lord envelopes us in His glory, it's forever life changing. No man can experience the breath of God, the covering of His spirit, and the transforming power of His Spirit without having a change of heart.
The part that's truly getting me today is this. When the disciples fell, Jesus came to them. The disciples didn't have to crawl towards Him and beg for help, but Jesus approached them.
Then, Jesus touched them. With His gentle, healing, saving hands, Jesus touched their quivering bodies. Just one touch from the hand of God is enough for Jesus to provide peace and assurance to even the most fear-stricken.
Lastly, the disciples lifted their heads from the dirt, cheeks smothered in clumps of dirt and tears. They turned their eyes up away from the mud that surrounded them and towards the Lord Jesus who reached out to them. "Get up. Don't be afraid." Jesus consoled them, and His tender mercies toward them, as covered and dirt as they may have been, were enough to recapture their trust and devotion.
When God sends His astounding and breathtaking glory, we don't just fall onto our faces in admiration and reverence. We also fall right back into His very arms. Though we're surrounded in dirt, He cleanses our hearts once again. His mercy is the refreshing river of forgiveness, and His patience the wind which pushes the flow onward - swiftly streaming over us.
God's love knows no limits. Just look at Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus laid down His life, defeated death, and claimed eternal life for a bunch of filthy sinners. Jesus paid the price for our cleansing, regeneration, and fellowship with our Creator.
This is Love, Love that reaches beyond the weakened level of mutually satisfactory love and into the realm of selfless sacrificial love. The truth that God in flesh would come and redeem us all is simply all we need. This is all we must see to have Kingdom vision, all we must hear to have God-given insight, and all we must wear to be clothed in His righteousness.
He came at our darkest then, and He still comes to us today. Don't turn away from His glory because you're afraid of falling. He is going to catch you! Listen to Him. Listen for His gentle grace whispers. Let the light of God's presence drown out the darkness that poisons. Let the glory of God transform your heart. Lean into Him, trust His merciful ways, and see His goodness grace your entire life. We serve a wonderful God.
-The Introverted Evangelist