Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What Storm?

There's a messenger at my door knocking loudly to be let in. He's panting, sweating and barely able to stand. He's come a fair distance and encountered many obstacles to bring these words.  He breathlessly cries out,  "The Good News of Jesus Christ - the Message - begins here..."

That's how Mark begins his writing of the Gospel (The Message Version).  I began to read his words this week and was immediately, like never before, impressed with how he wastes no time in getting to the point.  For some reason, to me anyway, the other accounts of the Gospel, are smoother - Mark seems to say to us the sooner we get the message, the better off we will be.  God is good, God is here and He is on our side!  

Mark is black and white...this is what happened and let me tell you.  Easily enough to relate to in our world today when we turn on the radio, TV or any hand-held electronic device and get our news...slam-bam in 30 minutes or less.  And all at the touch of a finger.  Here on the pages of God's Voice to us, in 16 breathless, exciting chapters is some news we can't afford to miss!

Let me just share briefly what I encountered today....chapter four.  The retelling of the famous story of Jesus in the boat with his disciples.  They are crossing the lake and a furious squall came up.  The disciples, scared out of their wits, wake Jesus...who just happened to be asleep with his head on a pillow...and say "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"   What hit me was, in the previous chapters, Mark tells us that Jesus already healed MANY people....those mentioned are Simon's mother-in-law, a man with leprosy, a paralytic, and a man with a shriveled hand.  There were already demons cast out of men.  All of this done right before the very eyes of the disciples!  And in fear, they say to Jesus "don't you care?"  

He then proceeds to calm the wind and the sea "Quiet!  Be still!"  Hmm...was he talking to the elements or to the disciples :)  He asks them why they are so afraid, do they still not have faith?  They, in turn, are terrified and ask each other "WHO is this?  Even the wind and waves obey him?"

Isn't it just like us to experience the miraculous of God, His provision, maybe His healing, so many monumental blessings from His hand to our lives, and before you know it, we begin to question.  I can sit back and be hard on the disciples reaction....but am I (or us) any different...really?   Sometimes the moment the "natural" around us takes over and our circumstances are being rocked and tossed by the waves of whatever life has just unexpectedly thrown at us, we begin to question and panic. Let's face it, our mornings can begin calmly and the evenings end with disarray, trouble, panic, grief.  One minute we can be on the hillside enjoying our conversations with Jesus, and the next minute in the boat with a hurricane raging around us and asking him "don't you care?"

Don't get me wrong, I don't in any way make light of the horrendous things that take place in our lives....people we love get sick, some die prematurely, accidents happen, jobs are lost, homes are taken and the list goes on and on.  Life happens....we are not immune. Questions are asked of God....and He wants us to pour out our hearts and hurt to Him....who better understands than the One who can calm the storm?  But THANK GOD, we have SOMEONE in the boat with us :)  I rather think I ask a different question when those waves hit me...not so much "Who is this?"  but... "Where are You?"  Not the who, but the where.  I know the WHO....sometimes I question the WHERE.  And oh my heart, why should I?  He is good, He is here, He is on my side and BY MY SIDE.  There is no question, God is WITH YOU.  

Today I am THANKFUL God is always with us.  My life is better because He is.  Mark's message cries out to us to believe that.  I would rather have Him asleep in the boat with me in a storm than being alone on a peaceful sea. 


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