Warning: This might sound a little mystical, but have you ever noticed how faith thrives in the mystical? When we bump up against the supernatural and the difficult to explain, that’s when faith steps in. That’s when faith can grow. Today, we’re going to experiment with an exercise in imagination. This may be foreign to you, but if you’re willing, let’s give it a try.
Imagination is a powerful bridge to our soul. When used to experience God in God’s presence, imagination also becomes the gift we carry across to deliver to our soul. It’s when we stop to imagine the person, the work, the words, and the way of Jesus, we give ourselves the opportunity to bask in his glory and love. In our imagination, we ask God to help us capture a glimpse of heaven and then proceed to receive that glimpse of heaven within our soul. These opportunities are when we get to taste and see that God is good.
Today, let’s work our way through the letter to the church in Smyrna as we imagine ourselves receiving and reading a postcard in the mail. But, first we will stop to ask God to guide our imagination with his presence.
Dear Lord Jesus. You are alive today. You are actively working in my life and in my mind. Please guide my imagination today with your presence and please illuminate the treasure of your kingdom to me as I pray. Amen.
- Picture yourself walking to your mailbox to check for mail. Capture the moment in your mind by thinking about what it feels like to be going to the mailbox. Is the wind blowing? What sounds are you hearing? What do you expect to find?
- Next, picture yourself flipping through the mail to find a postcard. Before reading it, you scan it quickly to see who it’s from. It’s from Jesus. This letter was sent to you from Jesus himself. Stop to notice how it feels to receive a card from Jesus. Is there excitement, worry, shame, regret, love? What do you anticipate he might say?
- Now, go ahead and read the letter. “I know…” These are the first words from Jesus. “I know…” Sit with that thought. What do you think Jesus is referring to in your life? What does Jesus “know”?
- Keep reading, “I know your tribulation and your poverty and the slander of those who say they are and are not.” How does this feel? Jesus knows the trouble you’re in. He knows the areas where you feel empty and dry. He knows the slander of those around you. How is your heart responding to these words? Simply sit with Jesus in this moment. Receive those words from him.
- When you’re ready, keep reading, “Do not fear..” Listen carefully for the tone of Jesus’ voice here. “Do not fear what you are about to suffer…” What fear is your heart clenching onto right now? What fear does Jesus invite you to let go of? Simply sit with Jesus in this moment. Receive his words of freedom from fear.
- When you’re ready, let your eyes return to the postcard, “Be faithful…” is says. Jesus turns to commission you with his words. “Be faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life.” What do the words “be faithful” bring to your mind? In what ways is Jesus commissioning you to be faithful?
- Let’s narrow the thought down to just today. What ways does Jesus invite you to be faithful to him today? Stop to notice any thoughts or expectations you may be loading on yourself instead of letting Jesus inform your thoughts. Simply put your own thoughts aside and sit with him in silence until you let him be the one to nudge you with one way you can be faithful.
Note: this could seem as silly as “paint” or “exercise” or “apply” or “love.” I could share stories of how Jesus truly spoke these specific words as his quiet invitation to “be faithful.”
Faithful Jesus. Thank you for this time with you today. Thank you for your postcard and for speaking through it to me today. Please fill me with your strength and your love as I remember that you know me to the core, you remind me to not be afraid, and you empower me to be faithful today. Amen.
By Yvonne Biel