September 1, 2019

Three Questions

When I turned 40, it was no big deal because I thought - "well I still have 40 to go before I have to think about what happens next."  Well, I am now 25 plus years older and I now am thinking about what happens next: when I am no longer a pastor: when I am retired; what happens next?

Those are questions that are pertinent to my stage of life. And maybe to yours.

But in those 25 plus years since succumbing to the age of 40, I have discovered that life moves forward no matter what and with this forward motion, it can be filled with many clouds of joy and also with many storms of uncertainty, even fear.

For those moments of joy, I give thanks.  That's easy to do.

But in the storms, well I have not always responded with the attitude of trust and confidence.  Instead, I have found myself grappling with three questions in my relationship with Christ:

"Don't you care?"

"Where is your faith?"

"Who is this man?"

These are the questions found in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 4 - where the disciples find themselves in the midst of a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee.  The disciples had been invited into a boat to travel to the other side.  So they did.  But in the midst of that trip, a great storm arose.  It was a furious storm.  Even though these were seasoned men of the sea, they were afraid. 

They woke Jesus up and asked (he was fast asleep seemingly unaware) - "…don't you care if we drown?”

Jesus responds by calming the storm, but then asks "Where is your faith?"

And the disciples who are now anxious not over the storm but rather undone by the power of Jesus to calm the storm ask "Who is this (man)?"

I often ask the first question of Jesus in the midst of my storms in life - "Jesus, don't you care about what is happening?  What I am going through?"

He in turn asks me - "Bill, where is your faith?"

And then in humility and awe I ask - "Who is this one called Jesus?"

You see at the end of the day, or better yet, in the midst of the storms of life, the ultimate issue is where do I find my trust and hope?  Where do you find it in the midst of your storms of life?

Sure, we all would like Jesus to do with our storms what he did in Mark 4:  Calm the wind and the waves; change the circumstances; deliver us from the swirling clouds of darkness that seem to steal all our hope and joy. 

And although he can, he often doesn't.  Not because he is unaware or doesn't care.  He is aware and he cares deeply.  But in the stormy waves of our lives, he seeks to bring us closer to him, to deepen our trust and our faith in him.  To grow us spiritually stronger so to speak. 

We may not enjoy the storms, and almost always never do, but we can be grateful for what he is doing in our lives through the wind and the waves.

These questions of mine, and maybe they are yours as well, can be summarized like this:

You to God - Don't you care?

God to you - Where is your faith?

You to yourself - Who is this one called Jesus?

And if I can be so forward as to provide the answers:

Don't you care? - Yes! God cares so much that he sent his son to die for me.

Where is your faith? - My/Our faith is in the one that sin could not defeat and the grave could not hold.

Who is this man? -           He is the Alpha and Omega

                                                The Beginning and the End

                                                The Lion of Judah

                                                The Hope of the world

                                                The Lover of my soul

                                                The Giver of Life

                                                The Lamb of God

                                                The King of Kings

The One before whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess is Lord of All

How can I not trust him in the storms of life, in my fears?  How can we not trust him who has overcome the world?

The answer is we can.  And let's not forget to trust and praise him in the joy filled times as well.


Last Published: September 9, 2019 9:32 AM
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