Sunday, November 15, 2020

Two Sides To Every Story


                                                                                                                                         Sam Shooler

I think all of us are at times guilty of judging too quickly.  
There is a verse in Proverbs 18:17 that warns about judging when we do not not the whole story. 
"The first one to plead his cause seems right, 
Until his neighbor comes and examines him." 
I remember the first time this really hit home to me.  I had a dressmaking business and there seems to be an unwritten rule that seamstresses and hairdressers are safe people to share personal  details with. 
One day one of my customer shared her emotional story of a  broken family relationship.  My heart went out to her and I was horrified at how she had been treated. 

Some time later I was chatting with another customer and she started to tell me a heart-wrenching story. My sympathies were stirred up and I totally commiserated with her in how deeply she had been hurt. 
Then, one of her comments suddenly jolted my mind and arrested my emotions.
The details  she shared triggered the memory of the story I had been told earlier and I  realized they were both talking about the same relational situation -- from two totally different perspectives.   

So much of our earthly life involves having to judge when we only see in part.  More often than not we do not know the whole story.  We only know the part that we have been given, or have been allowed to see. 

There is a beautiful example of two totally different perspectives in our scriptures. 

In Acts 1 we have the story of Jesus' ascension. 
The disciples are standing with Jesus, who to their great joy had risen from the dead and is with them again., 
They are intently listening to His words.  Then, to their wondering eyes,  He begins to rise, until He is standing on the clouds and to their stunned amazement , as they stare into the sky He continues to rise until He is out of sight.   They continue to stare, trying to comprehend what this means. They are still staring into the sky when the angel appears and tells them that Jesus will one day return.   

I can imagine their conversation. 
"Did you see that ?  What does it mean?  Where did Jesus go?  He is coming back?  When do you think He'll come back?"
I  am sure they had far more questions in their minds than answers. 
And had some one told them that Jesus would still not have returned 2000 years later, they would surely have been very discouraged!  

What if instead of standing on earth watching Jesus go UP with the cloud,  you could have stood on the other side watching Jesus COME up with the cloud? 

Actually , we are told what that looked like.  Listen to how Daniel describes the scene. 

"I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man, 
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days, 
And they brought Him near before Him. 
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. 
His dominion is an everlasting dominion, 
Which shall not pass away, 
And His kingdom , the on 
Which shall not be destroyed."
Dan. 7:13,14 

Yes, we are still gazing into the sky waiting for Jesus to return .. but though we wait our hope is strong because we know His promises are sure.  
One day .. and one day soon, we will look up and see the fulfillment of the angel's words...
"This same Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven!"  Acts 1:11b

So though our feet are still on this earth,  and we only see one side of our story, we have His promise that one day we will see and understand both sides clearly. 
"For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. 
Now I know in part, but then I shall know, just as I also am known."  
I Cor. 13:12,12