Finding Jesus: Lessons from Simeon

I’ve fallen into a comfortable routine: wake up, take the dog out, get kid’s lunches packed, wake kids up, take kids to school, return home and do a variety of different tasks depending on the day of week, pick kids up, begin evening plans, put kids to bed, and go to bed. My daily life is marked by a plethora of ordinary, mundane moments.

As I’ve spent this year focusing on the life of Jesus, I’m reminded that all of the ordinary, mundane moments are also opportunities to seek Christ and to model Christ. God ordained every moment of my day. The people in my path have been put there by God for a reason. The tasks I complete were seen by God before my existence. Yet so often, I completely miss Jesus in my day-to-day living. I focus on him while I’m doing my Bible studies or planning my social media posts, and then I return to my comfortable routine without giving him another thought some days. Maybe it’s just me, but I like to think I’m not alone.

The other day I spent some time reflecting on Mary and Joseph’s interaction with Simeon in the temple when they went to present Jesus per Mosaic law. Through these brief verses we can take away four lessons about finding Jesus in our own daily lives.

Actively look for Jesus.
Duh, right? But really, it’s true. How often in your life are you actively looking for the presence of Jesus? In my own life, upon reflection I recognize I most often actively seek him when I need something. Perhaps I’m having a tough moment, and I look for his comfort. Maybe there’s an urgent prayer request, and I try to find a Jesus-meaning in every interaction or circumstance that follows. 
Luke tells us Simeon was a righteous and devout Jewish man. The Lord had revealed to him that he would not die before he had seen the Messiah. Simeon trusted the Lord and actively looked for Jesus. We may not have received a specific word like this from the Lord, but we do know from Scripture that God is with us in everything. Jesus died so that we could have eternal life with our Father in heaven, and after his ascension he gifted believers with the Holy Spirit. The third member of the Trinity. Jesus came and was Emmanuel, God with us. Now we have the Holy Spirit, God in us.

Quiet your heart to hear the Holy Spirit’s promptings.
Next, we learn Simeon “came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms.”*

Simeon spent time quieting his heart to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit. This is just my suggestion, but I imagine Simeon did this every single day. How often do you quiet your heart and listen for the Spirit to guide you? I most often do this, again, when I need something.

Silence can be so uncomfortable. I often worry God will either ask me to do something crazy or He just won’t speak to me at all. Instead of silence, my mind recalls a to-do list or random things busy my mind. It takes practice to retrain our brains to quiet down. One thing I am doing toward becoming more comfortable in the uncomfortable is going to an adoration chapel once a week. It is a quiet, sacred place where I always feel Jesus. I don’t always hear from him though. Instead of being discouraged, I press on because I know it’s a process. I’m also trying to quiet my mind throughout the day and just listen.

Take action when the Holy Spirit guides you.
Simeon didn’t know how the Messiah would come. Yet, when the Holy Spirit guided him to the temple, he took action. The Holy Spirit revealed to Simeon the tiny baby being carried in his mother’s arms was the awaited One! Simeon didn’t argue back or question if he heard the Holy Spirit correctly. He went and took Jesus into his arms.

Listening for the Holy Spirit’s guidance does no good if you don’t then take action. The action may be a simple hello, or holding the door open for someone. Or the action may require a lot more faith, like in Simeon’s case.

Acknowledge his presence with praise.
Simeon immediately blessed God, praising Him for the opportunity to meet the Savior of the world. What a beautiful gift! 

When you do find Jesus in your daily life, do you acknowledge his presence with praise? I often find myself realizing hours, maybe even days, later that Jesus revealed himself to me and I didn’t thank him. It takes practice. Praise doesn’t come naturally to all of us and is a habit that needs to be formed. A simple, “thank you, Jesus” goes a long way.

Jesus is with us, all the time. We have many opportunities throughout the day to recognize him and praise him. Lean in, friend!

Chasing Christ,

Jennifer

*I cannot read this without picturing in my head the presentation of Simba in the Lion King. If you’ve seen this movie, you know what I’m talking about: that magical moment when Rafiki holds up Simba for all the animals to see. I’m positive this is not what Simeon did, but it’s the only way I can imagine it in my head.

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