What Does God’s Kingdom Look Like? A Shared Experience.
Jesus speaks often about His Father’s kingdom. When He does, it is usually in parables. He describes it as a magnificent buried treasure, a tiny planted seed, and yeast-fermenting to name a few. Jesus encourages that each is worthy of seeking. He says that when we discover this kingdom, it will change our lives forever.
Is it like holding a winning lottery ticket giving us millions of dollars and security for decades to come? Jesus says it’s even more than that! It's a treasure that fills us with joy and contentment transforming our lives that we never want to give it up. It is something that wells up from within. Nothing else is capable of ever matching it. Jesus is talking about a moment in our lives that puts us in touch with God the Father.
In trying to understand Jesus’ parables about the kingdom, I recently had an experience that helped me to grasp their meaning more fully.
In the early morning through the dawn blue sky, an orange light with brilliant shades of purple pierced this fresh morning sky. And small puffy clouds kept swallowing the blend of colors, smearing them like an artist’s palette across the vast morning horizon.
I was captivated and lost in the immensity of these brilliant colors. As I looked at the sky, I knew in an instant that God was in this beauty. This moment was His gift to me.
Through the tints and hues of colors, I saw that God loves me no matter what. In the beauty of this sunrise, God was embracing the world--reminding me that He loves me and embraces the world. Despite the catastrophic floods, terrorists' threats, greed and corruption, and the losses of those we love--God has a plan and it's still in effect.
Our God is alive. His plan is that we keep trying to be all that we can become, even when we fail. No matter because God continues calling us to try again.
Do you feel overwhelmed? God is near, acting through each sunrise and sunset to give us the joy we need. The new day is God caring for and seeing us, and this sunrise for me is proof that God is with us. Even if clouds come to darken our sky, they will pass because God is near.
These moments of beauty and joy they are God’s gifts. They are given to help us forget for a little while that things can go wrong. They are reminders that God sees us, loves us, and cares for us. He is showing us that Jesus, His son, is always accompanying us. That moment is God’s kingdom real and present. It is truly a pearl of great price that we want to buy at all cost.
This sunrise was a real-life experience of God's kingdom for me, and Jesus promises that this can be ours for all eternity. All of us experience similar moments in our lives. When a toddler son, who hasn’t spoken, turns and suddenly says his first words clearly, “Mommy ice cream.” Or the delight of a mother watching her daughter caress her own newborn daughter for the first time. And the good news that a son declared lost in battle is suddenly found alive and safe. These special moments are God telling us I am here beside you.
The kingdom of God transforms these ordinary life moments into spectacular moments of grace. Like my beautiful scenic sunrise is a small dose of what God has planned for everyone in eternity!