22 April, Saturday — Heart of Recognition: Coming by a Different Way

Saturday of 2nd Week of Eastertide

Acts 6:1-7
Jn 6:16-21

Jesus had still not rejoined them… “It is I. Do not be afraid.”

Cultivating a heart that recognises where God is in my life has been a constant effort and a journey that I am always in the process of. Research shows that infants naturally recognise the scent and voice of their mother during the first three to six months of their lives. This survival instinct is designed to provide a sense of security and constancy to the baby’s growth and total development. As the baby’s vision and awareness develops to recognise voices, sounds, scents, and objects in the further distance, so will this trigger ‘growth spurts’, transition and adjustment anxieties. Mothers, fathers, and caregivers attuned to these developmental spurts will recognise the child’s sensitive periods and need for extra tender loving care.

The readings today bring us past Easter Sunday into the uncertain times of a risen Christ and a new season of the disciples learning to discern without Jesus’ close example and instruction. How should they act and lead the throngs of new followers who came from all backgrounds, cultures, and lands? Naturally, there were disagreements, dissent, and debates.

In the Gospel of John, the disciples in the boat were cast about in choppy waters without Jesus, whom they were expecting to rejoin them after his usual mountain-top prayers. Instead, he came to meet them ‘walking on the lake and coming towards the boat’ which greatly frightened them!

“It is I. Do not be afraid.” Jesus says. Can we recognise the revealed Christ in our fearful and uncertain moments? It might take but a pause and deep breath to remember that Christ has already risen and death has no power over him — and the same it shall be for the trials we presently face.

In my younger years of spiritual growth, God came to me in very tender moments, speaking a love language that my nascent heart recognised. As I matured and the nature of challenges changed, His unwavering providence came in the way of protecting and healing my loved ones from dire illnesses. Though the sufferings were hard to stomach, He carried me through and gave me hope — enough of it to hang on and delighted my heart with signs and affection enough to make me smile.

Likewise, it is in this spiritual relationship and quest for intimacy with the Lord, even as we are grown-ups. God is always there with us. But it could be that He is coming to us by a different way, like the Scriptures depict. A different voice, a different image, form, person, set of circumstances, and even the same things, but in different intensities or melodies.

To help us grow and develop in spiritual and emotional health, He urges us just beyond our comfort zones. It is when we ‘fall’ with trust beyond our comfortable boundaries, that we come to know better and more intimately, the wideness and depth of this great ‘I Am’.

Will you fall with trust into His Mercy? Will you seek to recognise the movement of God’s hands and the application of His Divine Grace in each moment?

(Today’s OXYGEN by Debbie Loo)

Prayer: God, help me to keep on growing my heart of recognition to see how You come to me by a different way at every step of my life’s journey. I pray for wisdom to know you more deeply and trust you more faithfully.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for God’s mercy and providence through life’s most rending and bewildering challenges. We fight to see with faithful eyes, the perfect way in which He loves us.


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