Saturday, March 19, 2011

Who is this?

Mark 4:35-41
Suddenly a windstorm struck the lake. Waves started splashing into the boat, and it was about to sink. Jesus was in the back of the boat with his head on a pillow, and he was asleep. His disciples woke him and said, "Teacher, don't you care that we're about to drown?"

Jesus got up and ordered the wind and the waves to be quiet. The wind stopped, and everything was calm. Jesus asked his disciples, "Why were you afraid? Don't you have any faith?"

Now they were more afraid than ever and said to each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

Today , it struck me why this exercise to blog every day about Mark's gospel is so difficult -- the stories are so familiar. At first glance (and second and third) nothing jumped out at me. But as I diligently mediated on this passage, I am reminded that scripture is so deep, we cannot exhaust it's wealth no matter how many times we study it.

I find so comforting the disciples struggled with the same questions I have when I am facing a storm, even a storm Jesus instructed me to row into: (1) Are You aware? (2) Do You care?

Even though I know how the story ends even before I begin to read it, the disciples did NOT know. As they woke up Jesus, they did not expect Him to calm the storm. Maybe they wanted Him to help bail, or did not want Him to drown in His sleep. They were amazed and surprised when He calmed the sea.

On the other hand, Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith. After all the miracles they had already seen, His take was, they should not be asking "who is this?" They were the closest to Him. They saw all His miracles. They should have known! They should have known the answers to those questions -- Yes, God is aware and yes, He does care -- PLUS God is powerful enough to intervene -- in a BIG way.

But they did not. And often, neither do I! And I pray feeble little prayers like I have a feeble little God. Forgive me!

Pastor Ed often encourages us to pray: "God surprise me today with Your goodness." That is certainly what Jesus did here--surprised them with His goodness, even with their lack of faith. Matter of fact, it is good to note, even though they did not believe He was aware, cared or could calm the sea, still He did. His mercy does not depend on our faith. Even when we are faithless, He is faithful. (2 Timothy 2:13)

Jesus, I thank You for all the times You have surprised me with Your goodness and Your power. I thank You that Your mercy and goodness does not depend on my faith. Surprise me with Your wonders and goodness anew. Help my faith be contagious and beautiful and give glory to You.

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