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.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hardening our Hearts

I don't like the Pharisees. I especially don't like them because I think I would have been one of them. The beginning of Mark 3 tells about Jesus healing on the Sabbath. The whole theme of Jesus healing on the Sabbath and the Pharisees getting upset seems to recur throughout the gospels. This time it is a man with a withered hand, and Jesus asks the Pharisees point blank about the rules of the Sabbath (Mark 3:4b-5):

. . . "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.

The words I'm thinking about this morning are that Jesus was "grieved at their hardness of heart." Why were their hearts hard? Why does my heart become hard? What causes us to value rules and order over people's lives? I wonder if part of it is focus. If the Pharisees truly saw the man with the withered hand and understood how that affected his whole life, surely they would have compassion? If they saw the woman bent over for 18 years and realized the freedom she would gain from standing upright (Luke 18:10), would they begrudge her healing?

If, however, their focus is themselves and their need for order, control, and validation, then maybe they only saw the people in relation to themselves, and as a threat to their control and sense of righteousness? I'm still pondering this, because I don't want to be someone with a hard heart and someone without compassion, and I know that, without Jesus, I would be that Pharisee shaking their finger at the "rule-breakers."

1 comment:

  1. Hi Edna,
    As I read this same passage this morning, it jumped out at me that the Pharisees must have felt that their world was beginning to spiral out of control. They were fearful. I'm sure the root of it all was pride, because they had worked so hard to follow all of the visible rules. Now this man named "Jesus" was coming in and breaking "the rules" and talking about deep heart issues which up to that point, they hadn't felt the need to address. I think the part that grieved Jesus is that the Pharisees were completely unteachable. I think if they had stopped and said, "Oh, you are right!", the Lord would have been compassionate on them as well. Jesus knew their goal was to trap him, no matter what he was doing. As far as how that applies to us . . . I suppose we must always be teachable and willing to hear from the Lord, even when it doesn't make sense!