As I write this blog, I am visiting a location near Cleveland, Ohio. When I left South Carolina the other day the temperature was 81 degrees, and when I arrived in Ohio the next day, it was 39 degrees. Driving through the streets to get to this charming apartment in Ohio, I could see what was left of a light blanket of snow that had fallen the night before. It’s always fascinating for me to see snow blanket the ground and rooftops, especially before it gets too messy.
I share this with you because this morning, I find myself sitting alone at breakfast having a bagel and coffee. (It’s cold outside and right now I am not ready to venture out the front door.) There are only two chairs at this table and the “empty” one is directly across from me. As I looked at the “empty” chair, I began to think what if Jesus was sitting in this empty chair and what would I say to Him?
Immediately, I began to think I would tell Him about things in my life I did not get right. I would tell Him about the wrong decisions I made and how my thoughts and actions often got me into some messy situations. I would let Him know that my heart had been broken a few times and how I had struggled with forgiveness. I figured if I brought all of this up myself, He wouldn’t have to tell me about how I mishandled things. As I looked across at what I thought was an “empty” chair, I heard Him say to me “I love you”. There was no bringing up the past. There was no making me feel ashamed. It was just those three words, “I love you.”
As I sat across from this chair with tears and rejoicing in the revelation it was not really an empty chair, I felt so blessed. It is such a great feeling to know you are loved unconditionally. Others may bring up your past and remember all the bad stuff, but not God. The Bible tells us that He knew each one of us before we were formed in our mothers’ wombs. He knows all about us and He knows what we are going to say and do before we even utter a word or make a move. He loves us in spite of the mistakes He knew we would make. He is such a loving and compassionate God.
As I took another look at this chair, I began to thank God for blessing me today with His presence, His love and His amazing grace. The chair in front of me was filled with compassion, strength, joy, peace, hope and most importantly it was filled with the love of Christ. Whenever Jesus is seated at the table with you, the chair is never empty.
“Lord, You know everything there is to know about me. You perceive every moment of my heart and soul, and You understand my every thought before it even enters my mind. You are so intimately aware of me, Lord. You read my heart like an open book and You know all the words I’m about to speak before I even start a sentence! You know every step I will take before my journey even begins. You’ve gone into my future and prepared the way, and in kindness You follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With Your hand of love upon my life, You impart a blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.”
Psalm 139:1-7 The Passion Translation