A few days ago I was startled to look up and see an eagle about 30 yards away from me. Eagles are massive compared to vultures and my first thought was it must be a great gray heron - they have a wide wingspan too.
But it was an eagle. I grabbed my binoculars and watched as it rode the updrafts in lazy circles. Eagle wings, eagle head, eagle tail - an eagle. Right in my back yard! Lola and I took turns with the binoculars until the eagle disappeared at great altitude somewhere in the direction of the Akron-Canton Airport.
Wow! I've lived in places where eagles were common, but I didn't expect to see one in suburban Canton!
It is hard to miss an eagle up close, but I am sure I would not have noticed this eagle if it had flown over at ten thousand feet. His sudden appearance in my back yard was unmistakeable and undeniable - there are eagles around us.
I think this is true of Christ as well. We know His promise "I am with you always," and "I will never leave you or forsake you," and "where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them." But we sometimes (often) don't perceive His presence because we don't expect to find Him here with us.
We miss the "Wow!" We don't grab the binoculars. We don't celebrate.
But when people demonstrate the work of God in their heart through the fruit of the Spirit of God - Jesus is there. When people are converted from unbelief to faith in God - Jesus is there. When believers enjoy sweet fellowship in worship together instead of worldly competition and suspicion - Jesus is there.
Keep your eyes open and be encouraged. Jesus is among us!