Daily Devotionals

Burning Bushes

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Scripture: “About eight days after saying this, he climbed the mountain to pray, taking Peter, John, and James along. While He was in prayer, the appearance of His face changed and His clothes became blinding white.” – Luke 9:28-29 (The Message) 


In college, I lived with a few girls who had a small Bible study each week in our den. Each night of the gathering, I always had a lot of schoolwork to do. One night, however, I found myself trapped with no excuse. Their freshly-out-of-college leader looked at me and said, “Welcome, Julie. Tell us about the day when Jesus became real to you.” Wow. Talk about on the spot, jump-out-of-your-skin awkward! I had never experienced that “burning bush” moment. I cannot tell you how I responded to her question – I must have blocked my fumbling words from my memory, but I can tell you I never came back downstairs to that Bible study!


I guess that’s why the story of Peter, John, and James seeing Jesus in all of his glory brought back that memory of my college days. (Read Luke 9:28-36.) I find this story in the Bible to be so powerful, intriguing, and beautiful. They had their “burning bush” moment. Most likely that was their day of Jesus becoming real to them. What I would give to have seen “Jesus’ face changed” and his clothes “blinding white” (v. 29).  


But even in that moment of seeing Jesus in his glory, did you notice? Peter ‘bout missed it. As Peter fumbled with his words and began making plans, God intervened. “While Peter was babbling on like this, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them. As they found themselves in the cloud, they became deeply aware of God.” Stop right there. I love this notion of becoming “deeply aware of God.” Don’t you just live for moments like that, when you can’t help but sense God’s nearness and know God is right there with you?! 


I cannot finger-point to the day that I found Jesus, but long story short, I can tell you I found Jesus when I was in my prime – I was married, I had two young boys, I was working part time, I was playing a lot of tennis… but something was missing. I confided to a friend that I had everything I could have possibly wanted, but I still felt an emptiness. She gently smiled and said, “You’re missing Jesus.” I was not offended in the least. She was exactly right. She helped me find a Bible study that was a better fit for me at that time in my life. God met me right where I was. He lovingly showed me that he had been there all along and was just patiently waiting for me to see how much he loves me.


You may have experienced a defining moment when God instantly became real to you. That is awesome. Or maybe yours is more subtle like mine. Or just maybe you’re still waiting for Jesus to become real to you. Either way, know God is working in your life and desires for you to become deeply aware of him. When you find him, you will be changed.  


Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the many ways you are at work within us and around us. May we become deeply aware of your presence, for there is surely nothing better. We lift up to you those who are still seeking – may they find you, Jesus. We pray this in your glorious name, Jesus. Amen.  


Submitted by Julie Hudson