Friday, July 18, 2008

Mark, Chapter 5

This has been one of the more interesting weeks of life. It has been a week full of stress, but with the almost overwhelming sense of promise from the Father. In the midst of this storm, which has felt like a Category Five most of the time, I have the presence of the Father reassuring me that something great is on the horizon. I need only to stick it out through the storm. It has been very hard to keep focused on that promise. I have even almost completely lost sight of it, but it is still there. That is why I plan to focus on it for the weekend, instead of the despair.

This is similar to what we with the three prominent stories seen in Mark, Chapter 5. We have a man that is possessed by so many demons that he is forced to live amongst tombs, cutting himself with rocks. He is feared by society because of this, and they cannot control him. We have a woman that is faced with constant bleeding for 12 years who also appeared to be in a hopeless situation. Finally, we have a little girl in the ultimate hopeless situation: she was dead. Jesus was able to intervene in all three situations to prove a point. He is all-powerful, and in these storms we must have faith.

6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" – Mark 5:6-8

I have no idea what it is like to be possessed by thousands of evil spirits, but it is clearly a difficult situation to rectify. With merely His voice, Jesus was able to take full control of everything and release this man from his torment. As we see, the pig farmers weren’t happy, but that is merely another case of human short-sightedness. There were unable to see past earthly things, in this case a herd of pigs jumping off the cliff, and see what was right in front of them in the form of a genuine miracle.

27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"

31"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "

32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." – Mark 5:27-34

This is the type of faith I wish I had. One of my weaknesses is that I cannot prioritize things well in the context of my life. When I am working on a job I am fine, but my life itself can quickly become overwhelmed because I tend to spread myself way too thin without giving any downtime. As a result, I lose faith very quickly and immediately jump to a hopeless conclusion. This occurs with the smallest things. This woman, however, definitely had a hopeless situation. Her illness had cost her everything, but she still sought Jesus. She was then rewarded for her faith.

How can we apply this to our daily lives, however? There don’t seem to be too many Jesus figures walking around that can magically make things go away by having someone merely touching their clothes. Faith, unfortunately, is a lot harder to come by when we continually practice it, yet don’t get the answers we want. In this, we must persevere. We must remember James 1:2 and the lesson that perseverance leaves with us. We may stumble, even fall, but we have to get back up. As the legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano said shortly before his death, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” In a famous speech at the Espy’s while dealing with terminal bone cancer he said, “Cancer can do many things, but it cannot touch my heart, it cannot touch my mind, and it cannot touch my spirit.” These are the three places that faith resides, and it is also where Christ resides to provide strength.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

~Philippians 4:6

I, too, will be praying for you and your family Travis; keep your chin up!

Thank you also for your hard work and efforts on both blog sites! I have been reading both for about 3 months now, and really enjoy them. On days that I can't read them, my day seems incomplete, so again, thank you for making a BIG difference!

~ A Friend in FL