Sunday, June 22, 2014

Johnny Cash Met Jesus in a Cave in Tennessee

Johnny Cash once crawled into a cave to die. Depression, loss, heartache, and drug abuse had made him regret living and he crawled into a cave in Tennessee, hoping to never crawl out. Somewhere in that cave he met Jesus. Although it seems like a funny place for the God from God, Light from Light to be hanging out, a cave is the perfect place to go looking for Jesus, even if you don't know you need to find him. 
Jesus is hiding out in the open sometimes, but we don't look for Him there. He is waiting for us in caves, too. Johnny Cash was ready to die. He had betrayed everyone he had ever loved and felt the world might be better off without him. Hit records and money couldn't keep him from crawling into a dark hole, and they didn't get him out of there either. He had a vision of Jesus in that cave, after several hours. This Jesus told Cash he was loved and that he should live his life in service of Jesus. Johnny Cash crawled out of the cave. When he reached the mouth of the cave, his wife and family were there waiting on him with armfuls of forgiveness. 
Miracles appear in the strangest of places. We can't be sure we will notice them when they happen unless we are available to their happening. In John 12, one of the weirdest things that has ever happened is described. Jesus is talking with His disciples about the day of His death and He just says to the sky "Father Glorify your name," and then God audibly answers "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." That's so remarkable to me.
Because you've heard God answer someone else audibly before, right?
When this happened, some people in the crowd were convinced it was just thunder, and others that an angel was talking with Jesus (because that happens all the time too).
God just spoke to the man in front of them, and they heard it, but they were so unable to see the miraculous in that moment they missed it. We miss the miracle all the time. 
The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Cynicism is not on the list. Cynicism is the fruit of the first-world. We grow tired in our comfort and security and callous ourselves to anything not obvious or empirical. We are cynical because we can afford to be. Cynicism is a commodity like air-conditioning or wifi access that we stockpile and expect of one another. We hear someone's faith-like-a-child description of a miracle in his or her life and immediately discredit it because it doesn't fit into our box. We have our lives and our God so compartmentalized, we get upset when He spills out of His box. We put leather Bible-covers over our leather Bibles, a metaphor of the distance we like to keep from the penetrating, convicting, and instructive Word of God. We use the verses we like to put down dirty-living people and make ourselves feel better while being unable to recognize our god-in-a-box is dying because He can't be kept in captivity. 
Either everything is miraculous or nothing is. Either Jesus appeared literally to Johnny cash in a cave or He doesn't appear to anyone ever. 
I choose to believe the whispers of God are blowing across the grass. I believe the sun-rays on my cheeks are gifts of the Father who loves us and gave Himself for us. I believe the God of the universe became a person once and lived among us. I believe the Light of life dwelt among the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. I believe resurrection is not a one-time thing, but that dead men are brought back to life daily by the God who can't help but do miracles and blow people's mind. I believe grace is found in caves in Tennessee and coffee shops in Saudi Arabia, on this mountain and in Jerusalem, and that your feet can be anywhere and your eyes can see Heaven. 

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About Drew

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A follower of Jesus, trying to build myself and others up from the inside out.