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So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Faithless?

Sometimes Jesus says things that I just don't like. Anyone else? Words that sound harsh and mean to me. I was reading in the gospels about the time when the disciples tried to heal the boy with seizures (Matthew 17:14, Mark 9:14, Luke 9:37), but they can't, so the father goes to Jesus. It's Jesus' answer that makes me cringe:

And Jesus answered, "O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me." (Matthew 17:17)

And he answered them, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me." (Mark 9:19)

Jesus answered, "O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here." (Luke 9:41)


Those words feel like a rebuke to me and sound to me like Jesus is frustrated with the disciples and all of us. A footnote in my study Bible is helping me to figure out what to do with these words. The note on Mark 9:19 in my Bible says this:

The fundamental problem of the people (the opponents, the spiritually oppressed, and even the disciples) is that they are faithless. Jesus' burdened expression echoes that of the prophets (E.g. Deut. 32:5,20; Isa. 6:11, Jer 5:21-22).

I just looked up the Old Testament references, and they are mostly the Lord talking about the people's lack of belief that He will do what He promises.

I think it IS a rebuke to the disciples and to me for our lack of belief in God's power and faithfulness. Looking at my own life, I know that my faith is weak. I'm reading in scripture about God parting the Red Sea and sending manna from heaven, and yet I don't believe that God can save people who are lost, or that He will provide for me.

This morning I was thinking how frustrated that I get sometimes with my first graders when they won't even try to read a book that I know they can read. I wonder if that is some of how Jesus felt, or what God feels (does God get frustrated? He sure sounds frustrated a lot in the Old Testament with those fickle Israelites) when we have access to what we need (a relationship with the God of the universe), but we stumble and refuse to even try.

That begs the question--why? Why do my kids not try to read when they can? Fear of messing up? Nervousness that I am watching? Honestly lacking confidence that they can?

What do I not have faith? Fear of being disappointed--because God doesn't always heal people or do a miracle? Nervousness that I will look stupid for believing? Lacking that confidence that God will do it?

I still don't know the balance of common sense and faith. Does common sense even enter into it? Yet I can see in the gospels that miracles were done when people displayed faith, and I can hear in Jesus' words that I need to risk faith much more often than I do.

The comforting part of the story is Jesus' request that they bring the boy to Him. Jesus heals the child anyway--in response to the father's faith and:

"And all were astonished at the majesty of God." (Luke 9:43)

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